Galopin Des Champs and Energumene poised to return on Sunday

Fri 9 Dec 2022

Willie Mullins faces an anxious weekend with Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Galopin Des Champs declared at Punchestown and Champion Chase hero Energumene set to run at Cork  – if the meetings survive the cold weather.

Galopin Des Champs is one of seven declared for the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase but the fixture is in severe doubt.

Clerk of the course Brendan Sheridan has called an inspection for 12 noon on Saturday due to overnight snow and frost and the course is currently unraceable, with severe cold weather forecast.

Galopin Des Champs was last seen winning the BoyleSports Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse in April

Mullins also runs National Hunt Chase winner Stattler and Haut En Couleurs, who has had five of his six runs since joining Mullins in Grade One company and will be in at the highest level again.

Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir D’Oudairies is the main market rival to Galopin Des Champs.

The JP McManus-owned seven-year-old is a multiple Grade One winner and will be having his first start of the season.

Gordon Elliott’s Fury Road, French Dynamite for Mouse Morris and the Gavin Cromwell-trained Vanillier complete the field.

Mullins has also declared Appreciate It to make his debut over fences in the William Hill Beginners Chase later on the card.

Cork’s meeting also must pass a 12 noon inspection on Saturday with Energumene, who is due to be ridden by Sean O’Keeffe, one of five declared for the Bar One Racing Hilly Way Chase.

He will be taken on by Master McShee, Born By The Sea, Epson Du Houx and Fastorslow in the Grade Two.

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