TEMPLEGATE’S hopped on the ferry over to Ireland to get the lowdown on Saturday’s blockbuster Ladbrokes Champion Chase.
The Down Royal Grade 1 could hold massive clues for a Festival winner next March.
Here, our man goes through every one of the high-class runners in detail and reveals his pick for the 2.32pm contest at the bottom.
Templegate’s Down Royal Champion Chase runner-by-runner guide
BEACON EDGE 2
He was a classy hurdler, finishing fourth in the 2021 Stayersâ Hurdle at Cheltenham and made a quick impact over fences by winning the Grade 1 Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse on his second start.
He has not built on that and was only seventh in the Brown Advisory at this yearâs Festival.
He then jumped badly when pulled up at Punchestown when last seen in April.
He needs to cross his fences better to figure at this level but the soft ground is in his favour.
He landed his first Grade 1 prize in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in February ahead of Kemboy.
He jumped really well there so it was a surprise to see him take a tumble in the Ryanair Chase when staying on in a battle for second.
He bounced back from that with a good second at Aintreeâs Grand National meeting.
This is about his limit for stamina but he has plenty of quality and should go close.
ENVOI ALLEN 2
He has top-class form around 2m4f and scored around here as a novice hurdler.
Henry De Bromheadâs eight-year-old ran well a couple of times in defeat last season with a third in the Champion Chases at Cheltenham and Punchestown.
He hasnât shown signs of staying this far before and, while he likes this testing ground, it will underline any stamina issues.
Davy Russell has a good partnership with his eight-year-old who was beaten less than a length in this 12 months ago before winning the Savills at Leopardstownâs Christmas meeting ahead of A Plus Tard.
Thatâs high-class form that earned him a crack at the Cheltenham Gold Cup where he was a well-backed fourth.
He was still feeling the effects of that when beaten at the Punchestown Festival.
He returned with an easy Grade 3 win back there in October and he has bottomless stamina. His fitness edge could make all the difference here.
This enigmatic chaser has only won once since May 2019 but he often runs well at this level including when he was third in last yearâs Savills and again in the Betway Bowl at Aintree.
Heâs already had a couple of runs this season with seconds at Listowel and Gowran over an inadequate 2m4f.
Moving up in distance will help and, while his form is a bit short of the others, this is pretty much his Cup Final for the season and heâs a major player.
Templegate’s Ladbrokes Champion Chase tip
GALVIN returned with a win last month and should be spot on to take this Grade 1 prize.
He has loads of staying power and a touch of class to go with it.
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