Galopin Des Champs justified the favoritism and all the hype to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday, with racehorse Paul Townend saying “the horse doesn’t know how good he is”.
Bred by Willie Mullins in Ireland, chasing his third success in the Blue Lagoon, Gallopin Des Champs (7-5) is in Bravemansgame, winner of the King George VI Chase, with his third clash.
As Townend struggled to get a clean pass in the early stages of the winner, Scottish raider Ahoy Senior was jumping for joy until he dropped six from the contest, bringing down Russian Sons in the process.
Over the last 22 fences, Gallopin Des Champs drew to the front from Bravemansgame, while Mullins’ class-leading seven-year-old passing the famous Cheltenham finished seven lengths clear of runner-up Paul Nicholl, with six-and-a-half Conflated. farther back.
“He didn’t get a clean road in the morning, but when I got some space he got back into the rhythm, he was very strong,” said Townend, who on the board of Al Boum Photo, Mullins “back-to- Gold Cup hero in 2019-2020.
“It was a very messy start and we made a mistake going down the hill at one of the fences.
“But he turned right back on the bridle, the horse does not know how good he is!”
Gallopin Des Champs highlights Gold Cup glory with success in the Irish equivalents, but the reproach to his reputation was the biggest when he jumped the last fence with his knees in the attack at the last race of the year at his mercy.
It was good that no drama can repeat this time.
Reflecting on Townend’s hiccup last year, he said: “She’s mature, she’s grown up, a little bit older and a little bit wiser for all of us.
“He’s a full package now.”
Mullins was paying tribute to Townend’s great national team.
“I asked Paul to compose him and ride him like the fastest and best horse and this was done,” said the Irish maestro.
– ‘All about patience’ –
“I was wondering if we’d have anything left in the middle of the race, but they were pouring at the front.
“It’s all about patience and it alienated him and it just got to him a little bit.”
Last year’s Grand National winner Noble Yeats finished fourth on the day in a spectacular performance as he prepares to defend his Aintree crown next month.
The two who failed to catch fire were the two trained A Plus Tard Henry of Bromhead, last year’s winner, but this time by Rachael Blackmore, and Minella Indian, the 2021 Copper Gold champion, who also failed to complete the three-mile hurdle. a two and a half furlong (5300m) course nestled in the Cotswold hills in the county of Gloucester.
This was the fifth Grade One victory for both Mullins and Townend of the week – and if the horse gods smile on the Galopin des Champs, Mullins will be hoping to defend his crown in 12 months’ time.
“We won the Gold Cup this year, and you’d like to think that we’ll come next year and be the favorite and win again,” he said.