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  • Fastorslow Beats Galopin Des Champs Again At Punchestown Gold Cup

Fastorslow beats Galopin Des Champs again at Punchestown Gold Cup

Fastorslow once again got the better of Galopin Des Champs to land the Punchestown Gold Cup.

Martin Brassil’s charge was a shock 20/1 scorer from the Cheltenham Gold Cup hero 12 months ago, but he went off much shorter odds at 7-2 this time, with Galopin Des Champs 1-2 favourite.

Partnered by J J Slevin, Fastorslow travelled particularly well as Conflated set the early gallop and clearly had plenty still to give as the race began in earnest.

Slevin had his mount in pole position with two fences to jump and while Galopin Des Champs tried to challenge on the run to the last, he never really looked like getting on top.

Fastorslow cleared the last in style and galloped home for a one-and-a-quarter-length win over the dual Cheltenham champion, with King George winner Hewick finishing with real purpose to grab third, beaten a further two and a quarter lengths.

Sean and Bernardine Mulryan own Fastorslow and the former said: “It’s Punchestown, our local track, there is nothing better than this! All our friends and family are here, it’s very special.

“To win it last year was a bit of a shock, but to win it two years in a row is something that can probably never be repeated again. We have to enjoy every second.

“In a lifetime you could have a hundred horses and never have a horse like him.

“Martin is an extraordinary man to care for a horse and had him spot on today.”

Brassil has trained plenty of high-class horses in the past and sent out a Grand National winner in Numbersixvalverde back in 2006, but he is certain Fastorslow is the best he has trained.

He said: “He’s turned up in just as good a shape (as last year) and possibly even better.

“J J said he was running away with him for the first mile.

“He’s the best horse that I’ve ever had.”

The winner had unseated Slevin seven fences from home at Cheltenham and the rider was thrilled to gain compensation, with Fastorslow registering a third career win over Galopin Des Champs having also beaten him in the John Durkan here in December.

Slevin said: “He’s an absolute monster!

“He’s some horse and is by far the best horse I’ve ever ridden.

“He was actually keen for the first mile and I was very worried about that. He had a bit of a go at the first down the back and came out of my hands, but he’s an absolute machine.

“It was a long way home (from Cheltenham) but, at the end of the day, it is a horse race and you have to move on. There’s a lot of people in worse situations.”

Willie Mullins, meanwhile, felt the winner had simply been the better horse on the day.

He said: “Fastorslow is always good this time of the year and around this track. J J gave him a very brave ride, he didn’t wait around for our fellow or anything like that – he went out and took the race by the scruff of the neck and it worked for him.

“Our fellow ran a great race and was staying on at the end, so more power to Fastorslow. It’s great for Sean and Bernardine Mulryan and Martin Brassil.

“Paul (Townend) set out to make the running and the race sort of overtook him. There is no point in forcing a horse to make the running and I don’t think he jumped well enough to make the running either.

“I’m happy with what happened and I think the better horse on the day won the race.”

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