Star staying chaser Galopin Des Champs heads to Leopardstown

Thursday, 02 February 2023
Star staying chaser Galopin Des Champs heads to Leopardstown

Galopin Des Champs heads a field of seven runners for the Grade 1 Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup on the opening day of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown on Saturday. 

Willie Mullins’ star staying chaser is bidding for a second Dublin Racing Festival success having landed the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Novice Chase at the meeting a year ago. 

The champion trainer has also left 2021 winner Kemboy in the race along with Stattler and Franco De Port. Gordon Elliott, successful with Delta Work in 2020 and with Conflated last year, relies on Fury Road this time, Ted Walsh runs Any Second Now with The Big Dog taking his chance for Peter Fahey.

Mullins is responsible for five of the eight declarations in the Grade 1 Goffs Irish Arkle Novice Chase with his Leopardstown Christmas Festival winner Dysart Dynamo joining Appreciate It, a winner at the Dublin Racing Festival in 2020 and again last year, in the race. Joseph O'Brien is represented by Bandridge, with Fil Dor running for Gordon Elliott while Visionarian is another opening day contender for Peter Fahey. 

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Weveallbeencaught lines out for the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors ‘€50,000 Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff’ Novice Hurdle, the first of four Grade 1 races at Leopardstown on Saturday. There is plenty of opposition to the British raider with Good Land, trained by Barry Connell, Paul Nolan’s Sandor Clegane and the Gordon Elliott-trained American Mike among the nine declared runners. 

There are seven rivals for the outstanding four-year-old hurdler Lossiemouth in the Grade 1 Donohue Marquees Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Her trainer Willie Mullins’ team also includes Gala Marceau and Gust Of Wind with Henry de Bromhead’s Ascending and the Brendan Duke-trained Darraby taking on a Closutton sextet. 

The Grade 2 Shabra Charity Oliver Brady Memorial Future Stars I.N.H. Flat Race has attracted a field of nine runners with the Tom Mullins-trained Fascile Mode out to build on his impressive debut at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival. The John Kiely-trained A Dream To Share is the only dual winner in the line-up and they are joined in the opening day finale by other previous winners Better Days Ahead and Chosen Witness, trained by Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins respectively. 

A total of 18 runners will go to post for the three-mile Race And Stay At Leopardstown Handicap Hurdle. Among them are the Gavin Cromwell-trained Perceval Legallois, Maxxum and Sam’s Choice are on the Gordon Elliott team with Willie Mullins running two, Blue Sari and Belle Metal. Lucky Max is Sean Doyle’s big hope while the Charles Byrnes-trained Grozni goes back into handicap company after his novice hurdle win at Leicester in early December. 

A Wave Of The Sea is on the hunt for a hat-trick of wins in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase. Joseph O'Brien’s hope beat the John Ryan-trained Grange Walk to win last year and the pair face off again with the likes of Pat Foley’s Rebel Gold holding every chance after his big race success at Fairyhouse along with the Gavin Cromwell-trained Final Orders which notched up his fourth straight win at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival. The Mouse Morris-trained Get My Drift is another leading fancy standing his ground. 

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