some of you are bound to have heard or read about Galopin Des Champs after he made such an impressive debut over fences at Leopardstown's Xmas meeting... one commentator said it was "the most impressive debut by a novice chaser I have ever seen"... so for those of you interested in my thoughts here goes;
Galopin Des Champs could only manage 6th place behind his stablemate Appreciate It at last season's Dublin Festival, he was coming back from an injury layoff and the winner went on to take the Supreme Hurdle winner by 21 lengths... so in hindsight it was not too shabby a performance! Galopin Des Champs then remained unbeaten for the rest of the season taking the Martin Pipe impressively over 2 1/2 miles before stepping up to 3 miles at Punchestown and romping home by 12 lengths from Gentleman's Game and Stattler with the Albert Bartlett winner; Vanillier further back in 4th.
He started his chasing career at Leopardstown on the 28th December at Leopardstown in massively impressive style that had most pundits purring as he won hard held by 22 lengths. Admittedly he didn't beat that much (and he also had the running of the race), but he jumped like a stag and won as he liked, and it couldn't of been more impressive visually.
I watched the race and the way he jumped around Leopardstown's tough fences was as good as it gets. He flew over most of his fences, but was also economical and clever when he needed to be. He looked like he could have gone around again, and it took jockey Paul Townend an age to pull the horse up.
The time also caught my eye... last years renewal in similar conditions was won by the 150+ rated hurdler The Big Getaway, but Galopin Des Champs was nearly 13 seconds faster... let that sink in a little... although it is not an exact science, in a National Hunt race horses travel around 4 lengths per second, so taking that literally Galopin Des Champs would have beaten last years winner by some 50 lengths!
It looks like he will run probably run in the Festival Novice Chase where he is currently priced at 7/4, and if he lines up for this I think he will go off as odds-on favourite. He is also 7/1 for the Turners where he would line-up against Bob Olinger and possibly stablemate Ferny Hollow (more likely to go for the Arkle) who won the 2020 Festival Bumper and is unbeaten over fences, so I think the odds are that he will side step that. Some bookies also have him at 10/1 for the Gold Cup, he won't run in that will he?
Interestingly Betfair quote him at 8/1 to remain unbeaten in 2022 (minimum 3 runs)... considering he is unlikely to run again prior to Cheltenham, and if he wins the Festival Novice Chase he will surely be long odds on at Punchestown, we are looking at an unbeaten debut as a second season novice and Willie Mullins will surely find him an easy introduction for which he would be long odds-on, as probable favourite for the 2023 Gold Cup!
There are many worse 8/1 shots I have seen!!