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    Fastorslow repeated his previous year's triumph in Punchestown
Fastorslow repeated his previous year's triumph in Punchestown
Fastorslow repeated his previous year's triumph in Punchestown. Source: independent.ie

Fastorslow repeated his previous year's triumph in Punchestown

In the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup, Fastorslow defeated Galopin Des Champs once more, securing his triumph from the previous year.

Twelve months ago, Martin Brassil's charge from the Cheltenham Gold Cup hero was an unexpected 20-1 scorer. However, this time, he was backed at much shorter odds (7-2), with Galopin Des Champs the 1-2 favourite.

Accompanied by J. J. Slevin, Fastorslow performed exceptionally well while Conflated established the early pace and was evidently full of energy as the race commenced.

With two fences to clear, Slevin's mount was in the lead. Galopin Des Champs attempted to challenge him on the final run, but it never seemed like he was going to prevail.

The dual Cheltenham champion was defeated by Fastorslow by a length and a quarter, while Hewick, the winner of King George, finished third after being defeated by an additional two and a quarter lengths. 

Fastorslow is owned by Sean and Bernardine Mulryan, the former of whom stated: “It’s Punchestown, our local track, there is nothing better than this! All our friends and family are here, it’s very special. To win it last year was a bit of a shock, but to win it two years in a row is something that can probably never be repeated again. We have to enjoy every second. In a lifetime you could have a hundred horses and never have a horse like him. Martin is an extraordinary man to care for a horse and had him spot on today.”

Although Brassil has trained many elite horses in the past, including Numbersixvalverde, the 2006 Grand National winner, he is certain that Fastorslow is the best horse he has ever worked with.

He said: “He’s turned up in just as good a shape (as last year) and possibly even better. J J said he was running away with him for the first mile. He’s the best horse that I’ve ever had.”

The winner had unseated Slevin out seven fences from home at Cheltenham, and the rider was thrilled to receive compensation after Fastorslow defeated Galopin Des Champs in the John Durkan here in December.

Slevin said: “He’s an absolute monster! He’s some horse and is by far the best horse I’ve ever ridden. He was actually keen for the first mile and I was very worried about that. He had a bit of a go at the first down the back and came out of my hands, but he’s an absolute machine. It was a long way home (from Cheltenham) but, at the end of the day, it is a horse race and you have to move on. There’s a lot of people in worse situations.”

Mullins added: “Fastorslow is always good this time of the year and around this track. J J gave him a very brave ride, he didn’t wait around for our fellow or anything like that – he went out and took the race by the scruff of the neck and it worked for him. Our fellow ran a great race and was staying on at the end, so more power to Fastorslow. It’s great for Sean and Bernardine Mulryan and Martin Brassil. Paul (Townend) set out to make the running and the race sort of overtook him. There is no point in forcing a horse to make the running and I don’t think he jumped well enough to make the running either. I’m happy with what happened and I think the better horse on the day won the race.”

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