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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
David Yates

Gold Cup hero Galopin Des Champs heading for Punchestown

PUNCHESTOWN is next on the agenda for Galopin Des Champs after his brilliant Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup victory on Friday.

The 7-5 favourite gave Willie Mullins and Paul Townend a third success in chasing’s blue riband with a seven-length supremacy over the Paul Nicholls-saddled Bravemansgame.

Ireland’s champion trainer reported the seven-year-old to be none the worse for his exertions and will now prepare Galopin Des Champs for the Ladbrokes Gold Cup on April 26.

“Punchestown is normally where we go,” said Mullins, who stayed overnight in Cheltenham before flying to Dublin to watch Ireland play England in the Six Nations rugby.

“That’s always our first port of call as long as he comes out of the race.
“This morning, I didn’t get any bad reports – normally, I only get the bad news – so I have to assume he’s good."

Paul Townend on Galopin Des Champs celebrates winning the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup ((Photo by Sam Mellish/Getty Images))

Describing the Gold Cup as a “race of two halves”, Mullins – who praised Townend’s waiting tactics – went on: “I didn’t want to get involved for the first circuit.

“I hoped that the opposition would make it a test of stamina and that things would catch up with them, and that’s the way the game was played.”

Townend, on duty at Thurles, added: “It’s not too often you finish as strong as he did in the Gold Cup.

“They’d gone hard – Bravemansgame had been with them the whole way – but I couldn’t believe I’d won seven lengths when I came back in.”

The Grand National at Aintree on April 15 is “the next step” for Noble Yeats after his staying-on fourth in the Gold Cup.

The eight-year-old is a 10-1 shot with Ladbrokes to repeat last year’s triumph on Merseyside and Emmet Mullins reported: “Aintree is the next step.”

“He seems to have come out of the race well – nothing obvious with him to today so fingers cross he will still be good after the weekend break that he’s deserved.

“I know it’s a funny thing to say about a National horse but he likes his space and he just sulked for a lot of it and came home strongly when he fell out the back of the race and got a bit of light.”

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