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Off The Fence: Don’t discount Corach Rambler in Punchestown Gold Cup despite Grand National disappointment

Galopin Des Champs has thrived this season, but he meets his foe Fastorslow in the Punchestown Gold Cup; however, Corach Rambler will be seeking redemption and could be a nice each-way chance, according to Barry Geraghty

Corach Rambler ridden by Derek Fox on their way to winning the Ultima Handicap Chase
Image: Corach Rambler is seeking redemption in Wednesday's Punchestown Gold Cup

The Off The Fence panel look at the Punchestown Festival this week including the William Hill Champion Chase, the Punchestown Gold Cup, and the other feature races.

It seems to be the Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs who is the favourite for this year's race, but last year's winner Fastorslow will be looking to prove he can hold onto the title.

However, the only British runner is Corach Rambler, he arrives bidding for redemption following his disappointment in the Grand National where he fell at the first. Barry Geraghty thinks Lucinda Russell's 10-year-old cannot be discounted but Tony Keenan is not so sure.

Keenan said: "Punchestown hasn't been Galopin Des Champs' track so far, beaten in the John Durkan and this race last season.

"The timing of neither of those races was ideal but then again, the timing of this race on Wednesday isn't ideal but he's danced every dance at this stage.

"I think I would be inclined to take him on. I think I would be with Fastorslow, no cards were really played in the Gold Cup but he was going fine with a lovely position.

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"The way that he shaped at the Dublin Racing Festival would suggest that JJ Slevin was keen to not tackle Galopin Des Champs too early.

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"Cheltenham was D-Day with him, they never got to find out but maybe back at Punchestown, a track that he's got an excellent record at, and he's relatively fresh compared to some of these, I think he might be able to get his second win in this race."

Geraghty is not too sure about going against the favourite.

He said: "I wouldn't be fully convinced in Galopin Des Champs, obviously got beaten last year but he was a seven-year-old, I think that extra year is going to count for a lot so I would think he is the one to beat.

"Having said that Fastorslow is two from two against Galopin Des Champs at Punchestown, so there is a couple of angles to the race, I'd have full respect for Fastorslow."

Galopin Des Champs claimed victory in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup Chase
Image: Galopin Des Champs claimed victory in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup Chase

Geraghty added: "He was travelling well in the Gold Cup and we didn't get to see the best of him but I think it's going to be a brilliant race but I wouldn't be opposing Galopin Des Champs that easy.

"I think Corach Rambler would represent good value, third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the back of 110 days off, he went to Aintree and then unseated at the first in the Grand National.

"He comes here fresh and the Gold Cup was mentioned as a prep run for Aintree, if there's improvement on that Gold Cup run and it looks like with nine runners he'll have a competitive field and get a good gallop.

"He stays well and I think he could be good value but I'd be slow to oppose the favourite as such but I think Corach Rambler as an each-way play could be good value."

Watch Off The Fence in full on the At The Races YouTube here.

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