Fastorslow triumphs in John Durkan thriller at Puchestown!

Fastorslow inflicted a second successive shock defeat on Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Galopin Des Champs with a comeback victory in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

Martin Brassil’s Fastorslow was a widely unconsidered 20-1 shot when springing a surprise in the Punchestown Gold Cup in April, beating the Willie Mullins-trained Galopin Des Champs into second and Cheltenham runner-up Bravemansgame into third.

Galopin Des Champs was a 1-2 shot to exact his revenge in a race he won 12 months ago, but Fastorslow proved his spring triumph was no fluke with a rousing success under JJ Slevin.

A field of six runners went to post for the two-and-a-half-mile showpiece, with the hot favourite one of five runners for Mullins along with Appreciate It, Asterion Forlonge, Blue Lord and Stattler.

It was clear from an early stage it might not be totally straightforward for Galopin Des Champs, with Paul Townend’s mount sticky over one or two of his obstacles while his stablemate Appreciate It got into a lovely jumping rhythm out in front.

To his credit Galopin Des Champs stuck to his guns to remain in the fight turning for home, but he was unable to get on terms with Appreciate It, while Fastorslow was delivered with his challenge late on the far side of the track.

Slevin dropped his whip halfway up the run-in, but it made no difference to the result as his mount found plenty for pressure to deny Appreciate It by half a length, with Galopin Des Champs a further length and a quarter behind in third.

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