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Galvin sights set on Punchestown repeat

Galvin Galvin
© Photo Healy Racing

Gordon Elliott ’s Galvin begins his season at Punchestown as he bids to retain his title in the Irish Daily Star — Best For Racing Coverage Chase.

The horse won the race by half a length when starting out in the same race last year, after which he was the runner up in Down Royal’s Champion Chase and the winner of Leopardstown’s Savills Chase — both Grade One races.

Subsequently fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and sixth in the Punchestown Gold Cup, the eight-year-old begins his season at the latter track once again and currently heads the market for the Grade Three contest.

Following selective watering and 1mm of rain overnight, the going remains good, good to yielding in places with fresh ground available. Light drizzle, with the possibility of 1mm (approx) of rain, is set to to clear mid-morning.

“He’s in good form. He’s done nothing wrong all last year and he’s an unassuming type of horse,” Elliott said.

“He’s as fit as I can have him starting off and I’m looking forward to running him.”

Galvin is one of a trio of entrants from Elliott’s yard, with Battleoverdoyen making his second start of the term for the trainer after finishing third in Gowran Park’s PWC Champion Chase on his seasonal debut.

Elliott will also saddle Run Wild Fred a faller in Grand National races at both Aintree and Fairyhouse during the latter end of last season, but a horse who was enjoying a good campaign beforehand with second-placed runs in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham and the Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

“He’s well as well and he could give Galvin a run,” Elliott said.

“Jack (Kennedy, jockey) schooled him this morning and he jumped well.”

Dermot McLoughlin ’s Lord Lariat was the winner of the Irish Grand National when last seen at Fairyhouse, triumphing at 40-1 to give his trainer a second victory in two years after Freewheelin Dylan landed the race at 150-1 in 2021.

The horse begins his term at Punchestown and his trainer is hopeful he will start the season on the right note before bigger long-term targets come into view in the new year.

“We were meant to run him in the Kerry National but the ground was a bit quick for him, so we left him alone,” he said.

“We’ll get him started and see where we are with him, it’s early days but fitness wise he’s in very good shape.

“He’s won well at Punchestown before and he likes that big, galloping track. He’ll want a bit of juice and I think it’s good, safe ground.

“We’ll get him there and we’ll see, long term we’d probably like to go to Aintree but after this we’ll find out what our options are.

“I’d like to think he’s improved a bit, we’ll dip our toe and see where we stand.”

Elsewhere in the race is Lorna Fowler’s Politesse a mare in winning form throughout the summer when stepping up to a staying trip and coming home first in her two most recent starts at Roscommon and Galway.

Denis Hogan’s Macgiloney completes the field of six, a nine-year-old gelding who has more recently plied his trade over hurdles.