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Andy Gibson's review of the Punchestown Gold Cup

Andy Gibson reviews the performances of Fastorslow, Galopin Des Champs, Bravemansgame, Envoi Allen and Fury Road at the Punchestown Gold Cup - and Fastorslow will be overestimated early next season.

26th April 2023 - Punchestown - Fastorslow

The key to the outcome of this contest came before four out when the front three horses kicked on and opened up a gap on the eventual winner.
When Harry Cobden kicked again round the final bend both Envoi Allen and Galopin Des Champs worked hard to stay with him.
The result of this overly aggressive pace was that Fastorslow stayed on stronger than any of the leading trio in the market having not been able to go with that sustained gallop from before the fourth last fence.
This victory has the feel of an end of season result and one that has been earned through circumstances that will not likely be repeated on another day.
That is not to suggest that Fastorslow has not performed well here because he certainly has put in a career best effort.
I would strongly suggest, however, that Fastorslow will very likely be overestimated in the early part of next season on the strength of this result.

26th April 2023 - Punchestown - Galopin Des Champs

Galopin Des Champs just managed to get up on the line to snatch second spot after looking like the third best horse from the second last fence to just before the winning post.
I suspect he paid a price by trying to stick with the overlay aggressive pace set by the Ditcheat horse from before four out and again from off the final bend.
I am also of the view that there might not be a lot between Bravemansgame and Galopin Des Champs should they cross swords again round a flat track like Kempton.

26th April 2023 - Punchestown - Bravemansgame

Immediately after the race Harry Cobden stated that he thought his last fence mistake was crucial in the outcome of this race. With time to reflect I would guess he might think a little differently.
It seems fair to suggest that he would have finished in the runner up spot without losing momentum at the final fence; however, the winner was far too strong for him from the last to the line and would surely have prevailed anyway even if Bravemansgame had jumped the last fence well.
The percentage call here is that Harry Cobden asked his mount to go faster than ideal from in between five out and four out and then again when he kicked off the final bend. He paid a heavy price for this tactic by finishing very tired from the last to the line.
The King George betting could be interesting if Galopin Des Champs appears likely to take up that engagement nearer to the day.
At the moment, Bravemansgame is the best priced 5/2 favourite for that Boxing Day contest, whilst the Willie Mullions horse can be supported at 12/1.
This is clearly due to the Ditcheat horse being viewed as a very likely runner at this early stage whilst the Mullins Gold Cup winner will be thought more likely to head for the Xmas meeting at Leopardstown.
If this scenario changes then Galopin Des Champs would surely trade as the short-priced favourite for Kempton which could potentially offer some value with Bravemansgame.
I doubt there would be much between the pair's claims at Kempton; conversely, I strongly suspect that the market would significantly side with the Mullins contender.

26th April 2023 - Punchestown - Envoi Allen

Despite his success at Down Royal in November, I remain sceptical regarding his stamina for this sort of trip.
Punchestown is a relatively easy course and yet he still dropped right out of contention here from the second last fence.
The pace he attempted to stay with was a brutal one and probably accentuated any frailties he holds in the stamina department.

26th April 2023 - Punchestown - Fury Road

His win to run ratio is now 2/16 after this latest disappointing display. I remain of the view that he is generally overestimated in the market and he is another in the race with stamina still to prove for this distance at this level.

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