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Turners Novices' Chase: Bob Olinger takes advantage of Galopin Des Champs fall at Cheltenham Festival

Galopin Des Champs threw away certain victory in Turners Novices' Chase after dramatic final flight fall at Cheltenham Festival; Bob Olinger and Rachael Blackmore take advantage to beat Busselton and El Barra

Bob Olinger and Rachael Blackmore in the Turners Novices' Chase
Image: Bob Olinger and Rachael Blackmore in the Turners Novices' Chase

Bob Olinger was a fortunate winner of the Turners Novices' Chase at Cheltenham after runaway leader Galopin Des Champs fell at the last.

Galopin Des Champs looked certain to land the spoils when he jumped the last well clear of Bob Olinger, but he slipped and knuckled over a stride after landing and ditched Paul Townend onto the ground.

That left Bob Olinger (6/5) to come home unchallenged with Busselton picking up the pieces for second place in the four-runner Grade One heat, 40 lengths behind the winner.

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Until that untimely exit everything had gone to plan for Galopin Des Champs. Willie Mullins' six-year-old had jumped exuberantly in the early stages and had Bob Olinger under pressure before the race was turned on its head and the 5-6 favourite crashed out after seemingly clearing the last safely.

Bob Olinger's rider Rachael Blackmore admitted the Henry de Bromhead-trained winner was fortunate.

She said: "It's great to see Paul and Galopin are up and OK. It was their race to win. I don't know what to say really, it's fantastic to win, I'm delighted to win.

"I didn't get into as good a rhythm as I thought I was going to. I thought that was my fate turning in, but that's jumps racing."

Also See:

Bob Olinger ridden by Rachael Blackmore goes past faller Galopin Des Champs ridden by Paul Townend on their way to winning the Turners Novices' Chase on day three of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2022.
Image: Bob Olinger goes past faller Galopin Des Champs in the Turners

De Bromhead said: "You never want to win in those circumstances, but in this game always expect the unexpected and we're delighted to win and we need to show a bit of joy as well.

"I was surprised to see him off the bridle so soon, obviously the other one is something else. I never thought I'd see another horse do that to him.

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"He made a couple of mistakes so we still have to work on the jumping, but he jumped well on the first circuit.

"He's still a work in progress, it was still only his third run over fences and he's won a Grade Three and a Grade One. You don't like to win a race like that, though."

Mullins reported Galopin Des Champs to be unscathed after his fall and is optimistic about what the future now holds.

He said: "He's fine. The reins just got caught around his leg and he panicked a little bit and it took a while to get it all sorted. I think Paul is probably sorer than the horse is.

"Paul just said he landed well and slipped on his next stride. We move on.

"I'm very pleased with the performance and I suppose we're getting used to horses falling at the last around here - first of all Adamant Approach and then Annie Power and Benie Des Dieux.

"It's disappointing, but we have a sound jockey and a sound horse and we live to fight another day - and I'm sure we've been on the other end of the scale as well.

"It's tough, but it looks like we could have a very special on horse on our hands.

"I'm delighted I ran him in that race because I can go back to two miles now - we can do anything we want with him.

"It has always been in the back of my mind that we could go back in trip with him."

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