Cheltenham Gold Cup 2023: Galopin Des Champs beats Bravemansgame

  • By Frank Keogh
  • BBC Sports at Cheltenham

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The two leading horses jumped together over the last fence in Prestbury Park

Galopin Des Champs stormed clear to win a dramatic Cheltenham Gold Cup from Bravemansgame.

The 7-5 favorite gave jockey Paul Townend and Willie Mullins, who won twice with Al Boum Photo, their third win in five years.

Conflated took third after Ahoy Senor and Hewick, who had both looked in contention at one point, fell.

It came down to a duel with Galopin Des Champs emerging at the top of the hill to win by seven lengths.

“It wasn’t a clean sheet, that’s for sure,” a delighted Townend told ITV Racing. “Everywhere I went, I got into trouble.

“But this is a real, real horse, because he ran three different races and still won a Gold Cup.

“I was really happy to see it all happen in front of me. It gave me the chance to fill him in after making up a lot of ground.

“This race is just different. It takes winning to another level.”

Ahoy Senor had set the pace until his error six from home and Townend patiently waited for the Irish Gold Cup winner before getting into contention as he came down the mound.

After clearing Bravemansgame both jumped strong on the latter but the Paul Nicholls trained King George winner just didn’t have the pace of the winner.

It gave Mullins his 94th festival win and his sixth of the week.

“I feel great, feel emotional. It’s fantastic,” he told Radio 5 Live.

“We had faith in the horse, but you don’t realize how much pressure that puts on you until you jump the penultimate and you wonder if he will stay or not and he stayed. But we are very happy.”

It was then a second victory of the day for the Mullins-Townend combination Lossiemouth led home a 1-2-3-4 for the trainer in the Triumph Hurdle, with the first 10 horses all training in Ireland.

Last flight drama in Cheltenham

Trainer Paul Nicholls celebrated his second winner of the week at an 18-1 chance Stay away Fey took a dramatic Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle where 150-1 outsider Afforrable Fury took second.

Favorite Corbetts Cross was in contention on the final flight, but veered across the wing of the flight sending jockey Mark Walsh off.

Walsh then cautiously walked away but was unable to ride in the Gold Cup and was replaced by Nico de Boinville with Conflated.

It was a family affair for Bridget Andrews who won the County Hurdle at odds of 33-1 Doing for her brother-in-law, trainer Dan Skelton, who landed the race for the fourth time in eight years.

Stablemate Pembroke had been sent off 9–2 favourite, but despite leaving the field, jockey Harry Skelton – Bridget’s husband – was one of the first to congratulate her after Faivoir pecked Pied Piper with a head.

“Coming here is just a dream come true. I never thought I’d be in this position,” said Andrews.

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