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Galopin Des Champs delivered one of the most impressive performances of the Christmas period when making a successful start to life over fences.
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A winner of the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle at last season’s Cheltenham Festival, the six-year-old scored by 22l in a Beginners Chase at Leopardstown to stamp his authority at the head of our antepost betting for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase 2022.
While the market indicates that Willie Mullins’ progressive charge will soon make the step up to three miles, our resident jockey-turned-pundit Ruby Walsh believes Galopin Des Champs doesn’t necessarily have to go over the longer trip this term.
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Galopin Des Champs was incredible. He schooled wonderfully but lots of horses school brilliantly at home and then don’t bring it to the track.
He won the Martin Pipe – which I tipped him up for – and he was a good winner of a Grade 1 at Punchestown. He’s obviously improved a bit but it was still a Beginners Chase and I’m not sure about the strength of the opposition. He was spectacular visually in what he did, however.
I wouldn’t think Willie has committed him to the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase and there’s no doubt he could go up in trip but he didn’t look to me that going back in trip would be ruled out either. He could do anything.
I think Willie will sit on the fence with him for the long term because he doesn’t have to commit him one way or the other and he will see what the races look like and the opposition.
You could have a great bet in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase or you could have a stinking one if he runs in the Turners Novices’ Chase. Time will tell because he’ll probably go back to the Dublin Racing Festival and that’s two miles and five furlongs so I think the options are open for Galopin Des Champs.
I know he won over three miles at Punchestown but that was just the way it worked out dividing up the horses for the novice races. I wouldn’t be certain that he has to go three miles just yet.
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