Prestbury Cup, Nichols Canyon , Mullins day three treble

What’s Stopping Galvin from Securing a Historic National Hunt Double in 2022?

Horse racing fans are used to the Irish dominating the British and Irish horse racing scene.

However, even Willie Mullins will fear the worst for Galvin. As it stands, the Irish-trained racehorse has entries to both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Aintree Grand National. 

To pull off an unprecedented double will make history. L’Escargot and Golden Miller are the only horses to have pulled off the feat, and Golden Miller is the only horse to have done it in the same season. But if Galvin is to end an 88-year drought, he must swerve some big hurdles. 

Tiger Roll 

Tiger Roll is the modern king of the Grand National. After winning the event in 2018 and 2019, he became the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back titles. Arguably, the gelding is the Emeritus champion as Gordon Elliot’s mount didn’t compete in 2020 and 2021. A rival has yet to take his title from him, which is why so many horse racing tips believe the 25/1 shout is in with an excellent opportunity to win a third National. 

There were doubts over his stamina and form after Easysland beat him into second place by 17 lengths at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020, yet Tiger Roll set the record straight during the next season by returning on his old rival, this time by 18 lengths. Other performances since then haven’t gone to plan, but the Grand National isn’t the same as the Betway Bowl or Many Clouds Chase because the course and distance experience count more than anything else. 

Tiger Roll is just one potential candidate, too. The reigning champion, Minella Times, is a 16/1 chance and deserves respect. On this evidence alone, Galvin’s back will be up against a wall during the National. 

Number of Entrants 

The number of runners recorded for the 2022 Grand National could be a problem for Galvin. So far, the 14/1 favourite must take on over 100 competitors after 107 entries were given cards for Aintree’s showpiece event. In 2021, 40 horses entered, with 15 managing to finish the race. 

The problem for Gordon Elliot’s runner is that a massive card will throw up several hazards the jockey and horse will struggle to swerve. Firstly, the lack of room when jumping is a big issue considering the size of the fences. Chasers like to get a good look at a fence before committing, and if Galvin feels pressured, he might refuse. 

Secondly, horses fall all the time at Aintree due to the track distance coupled with the scale of the jumps. As a result, loose runners could run alongside the horses still eligible for victory and cause a nuisance. It wouldn’t be the first time a loose horse impeded another runner. 

Recovery Time after the Gold Cup 

Of course, Galvin must win the Gold Cup in March before he heads to Liverpool with the opportunity to claim a historic double. Although the odds are healthy – he’s the 9/2 second-favourite – the rest of the field is scarily good. As well as the winner and runner-up in 2021, two-time former champ Al Boum Photo appears revitalised. 

Essentially, Galvin will need to empty the tank and give the Gold Cup everything he has if he has any chance of taking the National Hunt calendar’s number one event. Sadly, the Grand National is less than a month away once Cheltenham ends, which means he won’t have much time to recover. 

Completing four miles after a three-mile slugfest is an achievement in itself. To cross the finish line as the winner is an accomplishment that is almost too good to put into words. 

Despite being the favourite and second favourite for both events, the odds are stacked against Galvin. Let’s hope he can do something special and join the likes of Golden Miller in the record books. 

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