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De Bromhead planning assault on Down Royal Festival, but ‘Galvin’ a star in making

WATERFORD trainer, Henry De Bromhead is already making plans for the Down Royal Festival of Racing later this month (October 29 and 30). The top trainer, who claimed both the feature and supporting feature chases with ‘Valseur Lido’ and ‘Sub Lieutenant’ in 2016, is aiming Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, ‘Minella Indo’ at the Ladbrokes Champion Chase – the festival feature won last year by the locally owned, ‘The Storyteller’.

The Grade 1 contest has attracted 10 entries, with half the field trained by Gordon Elliott, who has claimed the £140,000 event four times since the race’s inception in 1999.

De Bromhead has nominated ‘Envoi Allen’, which won his beginners chase at the course and was formerly trained by Elliott, as his likely contender in the Grade 2 novice chase won last year by ‘Battleoverdoyen’ – also trained by Elliott and this time round forms part of the Cullentra trainer’s quartet in the feature chase.

‘Road To Respect’, winner of the showcase contest in 2018 and 2019 when trained by Noel Meade, is another of the Elliott team bidding to land the principal prize. However, the star of the Elliott team appears to be ‘Galvin’, unbeaten in his five races last season concluding with victory in a Grade 2 Novice Chase at the Cheltenham Festival giving Cullybackey trainer, Ian Ferguson a second Cheltenham Festival winner.

The high class chaser made his seasonal re-appearance last Thursday at Punchestown in the Grade 3 feature chase, when giving a very professional display to win.

The Willie Mullins trained duo, ‘Annamix’ and ‘Brahma Bull’ were in front for most, but Russell waited to two out before delivering his challenge to beat the last named in the closing stages. Coincidentally, the winner of the race last year ‘The Storyteller’, subsequently claimed the Down Royal Festival feature.

Elliott said: “I’m delighted with that. It was a very good performance. I’ll speak to his owner Ronnie Bartlett and Ian Ferguson about the future and the big race at Down Royal. He loves good ground.”

Russell added: “We were delighted when he worked at Tipperary racecourse a couple of weeks ago and surprised he was so far forward.

“He’s very quick and an accurate jumper – you just have to leave him alone and he gives you everything. I didn’t want to get into a battle with race fit horses and giving weight at the finish.”

Entries

Down Royal Grade 1 £140,000 Ladbrokes Champion Chase: Battleoverdoyen, Delta Work, Froden, Galvin, Minella Indo, Notebook, Ravenhill, Road To Respect, Samcro, Fairyhill Run.

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