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Festival ace Galvin has Elliott eyeing Grand National tilt after smooth success

Gordon Elliott took the wraps off what could prove to be the heir to Tiger Roll’s throne when Galvin made a faultless return to action in the Irish Daily Star Chase at Punchestown.

Last season’s National Hunt Chase winner at the Cheltenham Festival was sent off evens favourite under Davy Russell to beat the Willie Mullins pair of Annamix and Brahma Bull and he did just that in his typically uncomplicated style.

Elliott, who runs Chosen Mate in the American Grand National this weekend, revealed he would like to chart a path towards Aintree with Galvin, but the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal could come next.

He said: “I thought it was a good performance with the weight that he had and we know he’s going to come on a lot for it as well as he is taking a good blow there. He’s in the Champion Chase at Down Royal and we could go there. He’s one to look forward to for the rest of the season anyway.

“He was a bit slow over the second and third-last and he never really does more than he has to. He only ever does enough. He’s a grand, honest horse and this has been a lucky race for us.”

Elliott was winning the race for a seventh time, with Galvin joining a roll call that includes his Gold Cup winner Don Cossack, who won the race twice. But the Grand National and not the Gold Cup could be more up Galvin’s street, according to Elliott, who said: “He might be more a Grand National horse. He knows how to win and he's just a great horse to have.”

Galvin was shortened up by most firms into a general 20-1 chance for Aintree glory while Tiger Roll is a top-priced 33-1.

Cooper calls tune for Gigginstown again

He may have taken a while to blossom fully over fences but Embittered came good for Joseph O'Brien and Bryan Cooper in the Grade 3 novice chase. 

It was just like old times seeing Copper calling the tune from the front in the Gigginstown silks, and he did so beautifully aboard the 5-4 favourite. 

Brandan Powell, assistant to O’Brien, said: “The extra couple of furlongs helped him. Maybe Roscommon was a bit sharp for him and they got him out of his comfort zone halfway round. Bryan feels something like the Clonmel Oil Chase could suit him.

“We'll leave that to Eddie, Michael and Joseph. He jumped lovely and I thought he won the race by taking on Exit Poll a long way out. He tends to jump left at times but he jumped well the whole way and Bryan gave him a lovely ride.” 

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