Paul Townend, Gaelic Warrior, horse racing
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Gaelic Warrior unchanged for Cheltenham contests

| 06.12.2022

Cheltenham Festival runner-up Gaelic Warrior is unchanged at 16/1 with Coral for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and 12/1 for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle following his long odds-on victory at Tramore.

The French recruit was the subject of a huge gamble ahead of his first start for Willie Mullins in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Prestbury Park last year, amid reports of impressive workouts on the Closutton gallops.

And while his supporters were ultimately left counting the cost, the Maxios gelding confirmed himself a high-class prospect in going down by just a short head to Brazil.

Gaelic Warrior was a 1/12 shot for his seasonal reappearance in the Get Your 2023 Annual Badge At Maiden Hurdle and won as his cramped odds suggested he should.

After initially taking a lead from Littel Flour, with a loose horse threatening to cause trouble, jockey Paul Townend (pictured) allowed the red-hot favourite to stride on with a circuit to go and he only increased his advantage from there on, with the official winning distance recorded as 86 lengths.

Coral’s David Stevens said: “Having been sent off at 1/12 for his seasonal reappearance, Gaelic Warrior duly won as those odds said he should, and he remains at double-figure prices for his possible targets at this season’s Cheltenham Festival.”

Townend said: “He was entitled to do that and it’s nice to get him back on track.

“When Shane (Fitzgerald, on Littel Flour) wanted to go on I was happy to take a lead. I just wanted to go a gallop and get a good blow into him and we did that today.”

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Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.