Willie Mullins may have been in the headlines for losing his Gigginstown owned horses recently, but this is a trainer who saddled 7 Cheltenham Festival Winners in March – and he still trains them all. Therefore, we thought we’d get the lowdown on what he intends to do with them this year, as well as the plans for some of his other stable stars.
A winner of 15 of her 17 starts, she finally fulfilled her potential with stunning victories in the Champion Hurdle and Aintree Hurdle. Likely to start-off in the Morgiana Hurdle, before being plotted back to defend her Champion Hurdle Crown in March.
Flopped in the Supreme Novice Hurdle, but looked much more at home over 3-miles at Aintree and Punchestown. Always considered a chaser, he could be a possible for the RSA or even the 4-mile National Hunt Chase.
Was a short-priced favourite for the National Hunt Chase last year, before being successfully diverted to the JLT Chase over 20-furlongs. Beat some useful types there, and should find some easy pickings in Ireland, but Mullins isn’t sure whether to try him at even shorter trips this season.
Placed in the last two Cheltenham Gold Cups, this 7-year-old could yet have many big days in front of him, especially on his preferred soft ground. Said to be following the same route as last year, which included the John Durkan and the Argento Chase at Cheltenham on route to a third crack at the Gold Cup.
Yet to taste defeat in brilliant novice hurdle and novice chase campaigns, and many believe he could be the best in the stable. He’s blessed with so much natural speed and jumping alacrity that surely the Champion Chase beckons, though Mullins states they may try him over further than 2-miles at some point.
Mullins says he’s fully recovered from the injury that forced him to miss his defence of his Champion Hurdle crown. He also hinted he could start off over 2½ miles in the Hatton’s Grace before future targets are decided, suggesting he’s keen to avoid a clash with Annie Power.
Mullins says this one won’t be seen until the second-half of the season, and it’s not worth even trying to fathom his possible target until he’s seen back on the track. Hurdle form ties in with Thistlecrack though, so well worth keeping an eye on.
Won the Mares Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham with her head in her chest, but that was an easy target. Looks sure to be aimed at the Mares Hurdle that Vroum Vroum Mag won this year.
Mixed chasing and hurdling last year, seeming to appreciate 3-miles and good ground. Mullins is keen to keep him over hurdles, and the World Hurdle surely beckons for a horse who has been runner-up at the last 3 Cheltenham Festivals.
Un Des Sceaux
3-miles is off the Agenda for last year’s beaten Champion Chase favourite, but easy pickings surely await over hurdles and fences granted his preferred soft ground. Mullins is in no rush to decide a Cheltenham Festival target for him though.
Bolted up in the Ryanair Chase, just like he had in the Supreme Novices the year before. Already favourite for the King George in which he was second last year, and Mullins is keen to see how he gets on regarding his suspect stamina at 3-miles before deciding on next year’s Cheltenham Target. The Gold Cup will surely prove too tempting this year though, as Mullins has yet to win it.
Vroum Vroum Mag
Took the easy Cheltenham target last year, but Mullins is unlikely to play it as safe this year with a horse who has talent to burn over hurdles and fences. However, he says she may well be the super sub if one of his other stable stars falls by the wayside, which makes ante-post bets on her very unappealing.
Was over the top when losing at Punchestown last season, but had previously made a deep impression as a novice hurdler. Mullins is tempted to send him novice chasing with so many top-class hurdlers already in his stable – and prices for the Arkle and JLT will soon disappear if he goes down that route.
*If you enjoyed reading this horse racing blog, and all the pointers it will hopefully reveal for the coming National Hunt season, please feel free to start a free trial of my horse racing tipster service, Big Race Bookie Busters. Just Click-On the link below and I’ll start your 7 Day free trial immediately :