Scottish National remains an option for Festival hero Galvin

Cheltenham Festival winner Galvin will not run in the Irish National, but an outing in the Coral Scottish Grand National is still a possibility.

The seven-year-old quickened up smartly to win the National Hunt Chase last week, proving stamina is no issue in the process.

A second-season novice, he was transferred from Gordon Elliott to Ian Ferguson by owner Ronnie Bartlett before the Festival, but with Galvin having spent his early days with Ferguson, the handler already knew the horse well.

“There’s a possibility he could run in the Scottish National, but definitely not the Irish, – it will come too soon,” said Ferguson.

“He’s been entered at Ayr, so we’ll see how he is between now and then. It looks to be coming up at the right time.

“We know he stays, he’s a good jumper and he acts on decent ground, so he has all the plusses to go there.

“The Irish National was just a bit soon, but he’s come home fine after the race, so we’ll play it by ear and see how we go.

“He’s a quality horse, he’s been a great servant to us all and Cheltenham worked out very well.

“The rating he’s got (154) is understandable, you don’t win five in a row and expect to get off lightly.”

Jack Kennedy to partner Galvin in National Hunt Chase

Jack Kennedy is to ride Galvin in the Sam Vestey National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on Tuesday.

Galvin has proven course form and is second-favourite for the three-and-three-quarter mile stamina test behind Royale Pagaille.

The seven-year-old has performed creditably at previous Festivals, finishing sixth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in 2019 and runner-up to Imperial Aura in a two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase last year.

Galvin has won all his four starts since then, the latest coming over an extended three miles at Cheltenham in October.

He had been trained by Gordon Elliott, but with the County Meath handler suspended he is being looked after by County Antrim trainer Ian Ferguson, who has had a long association with Galvin’s owner Ronnie Bartlett. He bought Galvin for 34,000 euros at the sales in 2017.

“I look after Mr Bartlett’s horses, buy his horses for him and things. It’s no stranger for me to have Galvin in my yard,” said Ferguson.

“He came in good shape and he seems that way. We were just looking after him until he runs.

“The horse seems well and this was always the target he had from early on in the year. Hopefully he gets there safe and well.

“Jack Kennedy rides.”