Lorcan Gallagher has Luck on his Side in $50,000 National Grand Prix
Lorcan Gallagher has spent quite a bit of time in the desert this season chasing down a win. During Desert Circuit VI, with his longtime partner Hunters Conlypso II, he finally got the victory he’s been eyeing all season long.
The $50,000 Whittier Trust National Grand Prix wasn’t handed to him, either. Over Alan Wade’s first-round course, Gallagher was one of only two pairs to jump clear out of 35 starters, with rails falling all throughout the course and presenting quite a challenge to get out scot-free. Robert Blanchette and Chardonnay, owned by RTS LLC, were the first to jump clear, followed eventually by Gallagher close to the end of the order.
“You never know walking [Wade’s] courses; you think they’re easy but he always has little tricks here and there,” Gallagher shared regarding the small number of clear rounds. “A couple people had time faults and there were a few cheap rails; this vertical by the in gate caused a few problems. I think a lot of people rushed for the time allowed and that’s why they had rails.”
Returning for the jump-off, Blanchette had two rails down, meaning Gallagher just had to go for the double-clear, knowing he had a rail in hand. He jumped home penalty free, securing the win. Blanchette took second while Conor Swail ended up third with one time fault aboard Casturano, making for an all-Irish podium.
“With only two in the jump-off, luckily I was second of the two,” Gallagher explained of his tactic for the short course, a familiar position for him in this very Grand Prix Arena. “That happened last year; there were only two and I went first and I was beaten. Unfortunately for Robert, he had two down and that made my job pretty easy. I just rode it again like it was a first round and I didn’t have to take any risks.”
The partnership proved successful Saturday under the lights, but it’s not the duo’s first rodeo. “I’ve had him for six years now,” Gallagher said of Hunters Conlypso II. “He’s had his little injuries here and there but it’s great to have him back at this level; he’s super consistent. Every grand prix here Saturday night he’s placed. Every day I get to compete him here I feel very lucky.”
With his name in the hat for the $100,000 National Grand Prix Rider Bonus, Gallagher is rethinking his winter plan. “It’s great here at Desert Horse Park to have these Saturday night classes,” he remarked. “It’s good prize money. I’m meant to leave on Monday but now with the bonus I might have to look at the schedule.”
Lorcan Gallagher has Luck on his Side in $50,000 National Grand Prix – Desert International Horse Park (deserthorsepark.com)