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Cheltenham Festival fancy Galvin moves to Ian Ferguson from Gordon Elliott yard

Galvin (left): second favourite for the National Hunt Chase behind Royal Pagaille
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Ian Ferguson, who sent out Zemsky to win the Foxhunter Chase in 2011, has been given a big chance to double his festival account next week as leading National Hunt Chase contender Galvin will run under his name and not Gordon Elliott's.

The Ballymena-based trainer has a long and illustrious association with owner Ronnie Bartlett and trained dual festival scorer Simonsig to win the champion point-to-point bumper at Fairyhouse before the young star moved to Nicky Henderson.

Galvin has spent most of the winter at the head of the betting for the National Hunt Chase following his easy seven-length success in a Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham in October, but has been usurped in the market by Royale Pagaille in the last week and is generally a 7-2 shot in his quest to win his fifth consecutive race.


National Hunt Chase card and betting


Galvin is no stranger to Ferguson. He explained: "I bought him, I broke him and I pre-trained him. He didn't get a chance to run in a point-to-point so that's why he was sent to Gordon from here.

"He actually has spent a lot of time over the last few years here too as, like a lot of Ronnie's horses, he comes here for breaks. He's here in my place at the minute and he's getting regular work. He's seems in great form."

Galvin has been successful on nine of his 15 starts and Ferguson is hoping his winning streak can continue on the stage that matters most.


Simon Claisse with the latest on the ground ahead of the Cheltenham Festival


He said: "Galvin is learning his trade all the time. I thought he gave an exhibition of jumping last time at Cheltenham and, but for a fall at Galway one day, he has generally been very good over his fences. The more experience he gets, the better he is becoming. He's a lovely horse.

"He appreciates good ground so it should be perfect for him at Cheltenham. He's not the biggest horse in the world, he's not your giant usual stamp of a chaser, but he's taken really well to fences and I was very impressed by what he did at Cheltenham last year. He'll go for the National Hunt Chase but I don't know who is going to ride him yet. That decision hasn't been made."


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I thought he gave an exhibition of jumping last time at Cheltenham
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