Bob Olinger won a dramatic Turner Novices’ Chase on Ladies Day as Galopin Des Champs came down on the final fence. Paul Townend looked all set to win on board the Willie Mullins horse and had ridden a phenomenal race to put huge distance in between himself and his challenger, but made an error on the final fence that cost him victory.
Before this race, Galopin Des Champs had shown his jumping pedigree in the past while Bob Olinger as usual played things safe, but the tables were turned on day three at Cheltenham. Galopin Des Champs led the early running, but Bob Olinger slipped into second, although Rachael Blackmore did conceded a few lengths early on.
As the crowd roared them onto their final circuit, Galopin Des Champs was four lengths clear of rival Bob Olinger, but Henry De Bromhead’s horse was taking the fences better than expected. Meanwhile, Galopin Des Champs stuttered over one fence, before Bob Olinger made a slight mistake with five to go.
That gave enough space for Paul Townend to stretch his lead but with three to go, Galopin Des Champs took the lead and began to run clear. For all the world it looked like he would stroll to an impressive victory, but on the final fence Galopin Des Champs made a big error that saw him come down.
He seemed to overstretch on the final jump and his back legs caught the fence, leading to him falling over. The good thing was that he got straight back to his feet and Townend also got up to help the horse stay calm after an impressive run.
Jumps racing is so unforgiving in these circumstances, but you have to clear the fences and it was Galopin Des Champs who had made mistakes over the previous jumps, before he came down. He’s a fantastic horse, who clearly had the beating of Bob Olinger today, but didn’t come through as the winner.
He will return again, and that’s the most important thing - but day three gets off to a winning start for Rachael Blackmore.