Galopin Des Champs needs some new worlds to conquer - so how about Aintree?
And still we don't know how good he is. Faced with what had seemed a deep and talented Gold Cup field, Galopin Des Champs turned in the necessary seven-minute shift with as little fuss as if he were Gary Lineker slotting home another penalty.
The race was a gripping piece of sporting theatre, as it nearly always is, so it was a shock when it ended with the winner pulling seven lengths clear. Bravemansgame hung with the winner as far as the final fence, clearly fighting a losing battle but doing it bravely. Then Paul Townend asked his mount for everything and we got the closest thing to a whoosh that has ever been heard during a staying chase at Cheltenham.
Maybe 'ever' isn't quite right. In order to avoid angry emails, I should confine this claim to 'since 1968'. Galopin is apparently the French word for rascal, a less dignified title than Himself, and I sense that those who really care about the game's history are not yet ready to accept we might have found a comparable talent.
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