John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase
horse racing tipster
Grade 1, Punchestown 14:30
€80,000 guaranteed,
5yo plus,
2m 4f 40y, Class 1 
Sunday 26th November 2023

Free Racing Tips

1 Fastorslow 9/1
2 Appreciate It 6/1
3 Galopin Des Champs 1/2F
6 ran Distances: ½l, 1¼l, 4¾l
Time: 5m 14.10s (slow by 25.10s)

In an unexpected turn of events, Fastorslow secured another surprising victory, dealing a second consecutive defeat to Cheltenham Gold Cup champion Galopin Des Champs.

Martin Brassil's Fastorslow had previously shocked observers with a comeback win in the Punchestown Gold Cup in April, where he outpaced Galopin Des Champs and Cheltenham runner-up Bravemansgame.

Despite Galopin Des Champs being the 1-2 favorite seeking redemption after winning the same race a year ago, Fastorslow, ridden by JJ Slevin, demonstrated that his earlier triumph was no fluke. The two-and-a-half-mile race featured a field of six runners, with Galopin Des Champs facing challenges from stablemates Appreciate It, Asterion Forlonge, Blue Lord, and Stattler, all under Willie Mullins' guidance.

From the start, it became evident that Galopin Des Champs might encounter difficulties, as he faced issues with a couple of obstacles. Meanwhile, Appreciate It took the lead with smooth jumps. Galopin Des Champs held his ground but couldn't catch up with Appreciate It, while Fastorslow made a late surge on the far side of the track.

Despite losing his whip halfway up the run-in, Slevin guided Fastorslow to a compelling victory, edging out Appreciate It by half a length. Galopin Des Champs finished a further length and a quarter behind in third place.


Brassil said: “We would have been delighted if he was in the first three. It was a tactical, steadily run race and he (Slevin) never gave him too much to do and it worked out well.

“He went the shortest way round and jumped really well. He was nearly travelling too well for the first mile of the race, he was in his hands a bit.

“He’s just a very good horse and there is a lot to look forward to with him. He needed to back up that Punchestown run (in April). People might have thought we were mad taking on very good horses in the spring and he’s done the same today.

“This is very sweet. I knew John (Durkan) very well and this is the 25th anniversary of this race.

“He’s a horse that takes his racing well and there is four and a half weeks until the Savills Chase (at Leopardstown). The horse will tell us.”

Patrick Mullins, rider of the runner-up Appreciate It, felt his mount may well have emerged victorious had he jumped straighter.

He said: “He ran a cracker but just jumps a little left and that let the winner up our inside after the last fence.

“He’s enjoyed himself and jumped brilliant, but jumping that little bit left has probably cost him the race.”

John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Steeplechase
€80,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 2m 4f 40y, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Soft, Soft to Heavy in places

1    Fastorslow 7 11-12 Martin Brassil J J Slevin 9/1

2 ½ Appreciate It 9 11-12 W P Mullins Mr P W Mullins 6/1
Galopin Des Champs 7 11-12 W P Mullins Paul Townend 1/2F
Blue Lord 8 11-12 W P Mullins Daryl Jacob 6/1
11 Asterion Forlonge 9 11-12 W P Mullins Michael O'Sullivan 18/1
11 Stattler 8 11-12 W P Mullins Rachael Blackmore 28/1

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