It’s St Patrick’s Day and the first race of day three of the Cheltenham festival features a heavyweight clash between jockeys Rachael Blackmore and Paul Townend.
Blackmore will be hoping to get her day off to a better start than yesterday after Journey With Me fell at the final hurdle following leading the majority of yesterday’s Ballymore.
The race is 2 miles and 3 furlongs long and a Grade 1 Class 1, as four horses run with the going at the racecourse currently soft.
Galopin Des Champs (P Townend) recent form
February 6 2022 – 1st @ Leopardstown, Novice Chase, 2m5f
December 28 2021 – 1st @ Leopardstown, Chase, 2m5f
Townend will be looking to record his third win of the festival with Galopin Des Champs as Willie Mullins looks to pick up where he left off last night after victory at 5:30 with Facile Vega.
Trained by the Irishman, who claimed his 82nd win at the festival yesterday, the 6-year-old is slight favourite going into the race ahead of Blackmore and Henry De Bromhead’s Bob Olinger.
Bob Olinger (R Blackmore) recent form
January 16 2022 – 1st @ Punchestown, Novice Chase, 2m4f
November 20 2021 – 1st @ Gowran Park, Chase, 2m4f
Blackmore will be hoping to add to her victory riding Honeysuckle on the opening day with the jockey going without a win yesterday and De Bromhead also looking to secure his second victory of the festival.
Elsewhere in the race El Barra (Mullins) and Busselton (J P O’Brien) are both very much outsiders heading into the race.
Both Galopin Des Champs and Bob Olinger won at Cheltenham during the festival last March, with the latter winning a Novice Hurdle while his rival Galopin Des Champs took a Hurdle Handicap.
Galopin Des Champs – 10/11
Bob Olinger – 6/5
El Barra – 28/1
Busselton – 50/1