Handicapper’s Blog: Galopin prevails in Gold Cup thriller

18 Mar 23

The 2023 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup provided the spectacle it promised and confirmed two of the rising stars in the staying chase division, writes Martin Greenwood.

Going in, you could argue a chance could be made for several of the 13 strong field, despite the unexposed Galopin Des Champs going off at prohibitive odds in the market. The complexion of the race changed after long-time leader Ahoy Senor fell, bringing down Sounds Russian and causing some others to be hampered, including last year’s spectacular winner A Plus Tard. Only 5 were in it at the business end, which was down to 4 after the admirable Hewick fell at the second last when beginning to feel the pinch. The patiently-ridden Galopin Des Champs and the main UK challenger and King George VI winner Bravemansgame soon pulled clear, the former staying on much the stronger as the latter trod water on the run in.

Assessment wise, the mathematics of pre-race ratings and the finishing order fit in quite neatly with Bravemansgame, Conflated and Noble Yeats all more or less confirming the best efforts of the season meaning Galopin Des Champs has clearly posted the best staying performance of the campaign and his new rating is 178, with the promise of further improvement to come. That figure is only just shy of A Plus Tard’s 180 from 2022, and this pair have shown to be consecutive above-standard winners of this race in recent times.