Last seen when winning the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham, the Gordon Elliott-trained Galvin made it six wins from ten starts over fences when landing the Irish Daily Star Chase in Punchestown.
The seven-year-old, now unbeaten in his last six outings, was giving Elliott a seventh win in the day’s Grade 3 twin-feature. Sent off even-money favourite, he stalked the Mullins-trained pair Annamix and Brahma Bull all the way, challenged at the second last and, after a good tussle, got the better of Annamix by a half-length with Brahma Bull back in third.
“That was a good performance at the weights,” stated Elliott ahead of a trip to American for another crack at the American Grand National. “I knew he’d come on plenty for the run, so it’s great that we’ve won this race again. As you saw, he only does what he has to do.
“He’s only a baby, but he’s great horse. He’s in the Down Royal (the Grade1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase), so we’ll see if it cuts up. Longer-term, I see him more as a Grand National horse than a Gold Cup horse. But he’s definitely one to look forward to for the season.”
Embittered, trained for Gigginstown House Stud by Joseph O’Brien and given a positive ride by Bryan Cooper, justified 5/4 favouritism in the earlier Grade 3 Extra Places Everyday At BetVictor Novice Chase, mastering his recent Roscommon conqueror Exit Poll with four fences to jump before beating Hurricane Georgie by two and three-quarter lengths.
“That was a good performance – he jumped super and Bryan gave him a lovely ride,” said O’Brien’s representative Brendan Powell. “Two miles around Roscommon was probably a bit sharp for him and the extra two furlongs plus helped today. I think Bryan won the race taking on Exit Poll so early.”
Earlier, My Mate Mozzie (Sean Flanagan) continued Gavin Cromwell’s rich vein of form when making a successful and impressive hurdling debut in the BetVictor Proud To Support Irish Racing Maiden Hurdle.
The former pointer made all, jumped fluently and brushed aside the challenge of odds-on favourite Barbados turning for home to score by eight lengths, prompting Cromwell to comment: “He did what I was hoping he’d do. He loves a bit of nice ground and I won’t run him on winter ground. His jumping has been good from day one and he’s very straight-forward. He could run at Leopardstown over the winter, if the ground is right. But I see him as a nice festival horse for springtime.”
Out of luck with Barbados, Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power struck with 6/4 favourite Mighty Meggsie in the Go Racign In Kildare Mares Handicap Hurdle.
The John Joe Walsh-trained Romella completed a hat-trick in the Welcome Back Racing Handicap Hurdle, scoring emphatically under recently-married Ambrose McCurtin.
In a tactically-run, four-horse bumper, Hey Johnny proved best for Tom and Charlie Mullins.