HomeNewsGalopin Des Champs leading NH horse again in classifications

Galopin Des Champs leading NH horse again in classifications

Dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs has retained his title as the leading National Hunt horse in the end-of-season Anglo-Irish Jumps Classifications.

The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old was rated 179 for the 2023/’24 season – the same mark he achieved when topping the classifications in 2022/’23.

He achieved victories this season in the Savills Chase and Irish Gold Cup followed by Cheltenham Gold Cup success, but was defeated by Fastorslow (171) in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase and Punchestown Gold Cup.

El Fabiolo is second best

Leading two-miler chaser El Fabiolo, who was the highest-rated novice in last year’s classifications, earned the runners-up spot in the overall standings with a rating of 175, 4lb ahead of third-placed Fastorslow.

Jonbon topped the intermediate chase division on 170 and is the highest-rated British-trained horse in the classifications, while Aintree Grand National winner I Am Maximus was rated 169 along with the Lucinda Russell-trained Ahoy Senor.

Andrew Shaw, Senior IHRB National Hunt Handicapper, said:

“Galopin Des Champs began and ended his season with a defeat but in between he recorded three Grade 1 victories, including a second successive win in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. However, his win in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown when beating subsequent Gold Cup second Gerri Colombe by 23 lengths reads as his best performance.

“His end-of-season rating matches that of last season, but with an impressive bunch of young novice chasers waiting in the wings, along with the likes of his Punchestown Gold Cup conqueror Fastorslow and Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Gerri Colombe, he will need to be at his best in his attempt to emulate Best Mate by winning three consecutive Gold Cups.

“The Novice Chase division produced some very exciting young prospects such as Corbetts Cross, the 17-length winner of the National Hunt Novices’ Chase, Fact To File, an equally impressive winner of the Brown Advisory, and Gaelic Warrior, who although beaten on his final start at Punchestown was an emphatic winner of the Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham. All of these, along with the likes of Spillane’s Tower (155), Grangeclare West (159) and Inothewayurthinkin (158) make for a very exciting Chase division to look forward to next season.”

State Man is top hurdler after 5 Grade 1 wins

With last year’s Champion Hurdler Constitution Hill absent since winning the Christmas Hurdle (158) on his sole start in the 2023/’24 season, State Man tops the hurdle classifications with a rating of 169 following an unbeaten campaign consisting of five Grade 1 victories.

Teahupoo is leading staying hurdler

Stayers’ Hurdle winner Teahupoo cemented his position at the head of the staying division with an unbeaten campaign which earned a mark a 164, 1lb ahead of Impaire Et Passe who topped the intermediate hurdle category on 163.

Just 1lb further behind was stablemate Ballyburn (162), who finished the season comfortably clear of his novice hurdle compatriots after registering victories in the Baring Bingham at Cheltenham and Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown. He rates as an exciting prospect for next season and his return will be eagerly anticipated.

The Willie Mullins-trained duo of Corbetts Cross and Gaelic Warrior led the novice chase classifications on a rating of 166 after winning their respective Cheltenham engagements impressively in March.

Shay Quinn, IHRB National Hunt Handicapper, said:

“The ultra-consistent State Man added another five Grade 1s to his CV in the absence of Constitution Hill and should have no problem adding to his ten Grade 1s next season. Willie Mullins also trained the top middle-distance hurdler in Impaire Et Passe, who looks every inch a chaser with plenty of improvement to come as he begins to fill his frame.

“Mystical Power was the top-rated two-mile novice hurdler after landing back-to-back Grade 1s at Aintree and Punchestown. His jumping improved throughout the year and there’s every chance the son of Annie Power will be a Champion Hurdle contender next season.

“However, as things stand his form isn’t on the same level as stablemate Ballyburn, who was the clear top novice for the season after demolishing the field by thirteen lengths in the Baring Bingham. He has all the attributes required to become an exceptional chaser should connections go down that route.

“Completing a clean sweep for Willie Mullins in the novice categories is top stayer Dancing City, who improved throughout the year as he went up in trip and is an exciting prospect for staying chases.”

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