Ladbrokes Champion Chase Tips: Galvin to emphasise Gold Cup credentials

Galvin is back on the road to a Gold Cup tilt this weekend
Galvin is back on the road to a Gold Cup tilt this weekend

Last weekend we saw one of the first Cheltenham Gold Cup trials of the season in the Charlie Hall Chase, won by Bravemansgame. Ahoy Senor was the one punters will have wanted to see win impressively if looking at the Gold Cup antepost, but instead the Paul Nicholls' runner was the one to stride on and mark himself out as a leading King George contender. Perhaps at Down Royal on Saturday we will see a 2023 Gold Cup contender emerge, and despite the small field of five we are surely in for an enthralling race. Billy Grimshaw has previewed the three mile showpiece for us here... 

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There have been some phenomenal winners of this race over the years, none more so than of course the great Kauto Star back in 2010. Paul Nicholls won the race for the first time since that wonderful voyage across the Irish Sea last year with Frodon, but recently withdrew the defending champion on account of the ground. This has left an already small looking field even more depleted and if there is to be a Gold Cup winner emerge from this race, like in 2015 when Don Cossack took this Grade One en-route to claiming Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in March of the next year, it is probably going to be the favourite GALVIN.

He was a seriously impressive winner of the 2021 National Hunt Chase and was promptly transferred to Gordon Elliott to be trained as he headed into open company over fences. He has followed the exact same path as last season this campaign in winning a Grade Three at Punchestown on his seasonal reappearance, however last year he laboured to a half length success over Annamix before going down to the enterprising front running Frodon, whereas this time round he looked much better first time out in dismissing Run Wild Fred by an easy five lengths. Elliott's charge claimed the scalp of eventual Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard at Leopardstown over Christmas in 2021 and although he may not have beat the best version of De Bromhead's Cheltenham hero, this was still the best piece of form anything in this race has produced.

He was no match for A Plus Tard in their rematch at Cheltenham, trailing home 17.5 lengths back in fourth place, but still is a horse of huge potential and at only eight he still could have some improvement in him. His closest market rival in this race is stablemate Conflated, who caused a shock in the Irish Gold Cup when beating Minella Indo at 18/1. Connections then had to decide whether to send him to the Gold Cup or Ryanair, eventually opting to take on the mighty Allaho in the shorter race. He fell before having the chance to make any impression that day and looked none the worse when trailing home Clan Des Obeaux later that season at Aintree, but might find today comes too soon as he prepares for defending his Irish Gold Cup crown. 

Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds

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Fancy looking at some antepost odds for any of the horses mentioned in this preview?

  • Billy's tip for the Ladbrokes Champion Chase GALVIN is currently a 25/1 chance for the 2023 Grand National! See the latest odds for the big Aintree race here

Kemboy comes next in the market and he has become something of a hard horse to read over recent years. When he is on song he's very good, but the puzzling performances have become far too frequent of late and he's definitely not getting any younger. The Mullins team will know he is not a serious contender for big prizes later in the season and could have him primed for this in the hope of bagging a perceived 'easier' Grade One, but with the old fire starting to flicker dimmer and dimmer he is one to oppose.

Envoi Allen is also in here but anyone backing the former second coming of Christ himself at odds of just 8/1 best price is a far more forgiving punter than me. He has been arguably the most disappointing horse of the last decade after completely failing to turn his abundant promise at Novice level into meaningful wins in Open company. Every race now seems a final roll of the dice, and of course with racing anything can happen, but if Envoi Allen wins this and the rest run their race it will be one of the comebacks of all comebacks from the De Bromhead team.

The outsider of the field Beacon Edge has some solid form in the bank through the years but had a shocking season last campaign and is very much on a retrieval mission for Noel Meade so is another that can be easily bypassed. Despite the intrigue that a few of the field here bring, none should have the class to beat Galvin should he be tuned up correctly. After his impressive win over Run Wild Fred last time out and with a trainer as skilled as Gordon Elliott, his fitness is not something that can be doubted so he rates a knocking bet at anything above evens. Galvin is in fact the fourth favourite for this season's Grand National and with a commanding win here his odds for the Aintree showpiece could shorten still further.

Ladbrokes Champion Chase
Galvin silk

Galvin

lost
2023 Grand National Odds
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