THE defining race of Punchestown 2024 was Kennedy versus Townend, a contest that felt like two ultra-marathoners in need of the line, but for the horses themselves, it had to be the Punchestown Gold Cup, Galopin Des Champs and Fastorslow in episode six of their rivalry.

It was a race that confirmed the preferences of each horse at this stage of their career; Fastorslow is a sharper type that likes decent ground and may be better going right-handed, whereas Galopin Des Champs, unlike the trailblazer of his novice days, has become a strong stayer that enjoys some ease.