Irishman Willie Mullins is a trainer racing fans in Australia are very familiar with. The National Hunt man often enters horses in the Melbourne Cup at the Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington Racecourse.
The 66-year-old is best known for his success at the Cheltenham Festival, the most important week of the season in jumps racing. He is the most successful trainer in the history of the meeting, and he could be set for more success this year.
Galopin Des Champs Represents Mullins in Gold Cup
Mullins has been successful in the feature race of the Cheltenham Festival, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, twice. Al Boum Photo gave him his maiden victory in 2019, while 12 months later, the same horse defended his crown.
If Galopin Des Champs prevails on the final day this year, it may help him land the leading trainer award at the meeting. The Irishman is the odds-on favourite at 1/8 in the Cheltenham Festival top trainer betting odds. Results on Gold Cup Day go a long way towards settling the individual trainer, jockey and owner prizes for the week.
Mullins has every reason to be confident about the prospects of Galopin Des Champs in the Gold Cup. His horse prevailed in the Irish Gold Cup earlier in the campaign. He proved he has the stamina for three miles chases, while there is doubt about this horse’s speed.
Facile Vega Can Get Mullins Off to A Fast Start
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is the opening race of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, and this race can often set the pattern for the week ahead. Victory in this 2m hurdles contest gives the winning connections a real confidence boost for the rest of the meeting.
Mullins has won the Festival curtain-raiser a record seven times, including in 2021 with Appreciate It. He has some strong entries this year, with the best of those thought to be Facile Vega. Last season’s impressive Champion Bumper winner has had an impressive opening campaign over hurdles.
The eight-year-old does need to bounce back from defeat at the Dublin Racing Festival on his latest outing, but that’s the only blip in his career, as he has been successful in six of his seven races under Rules.
Gaillard Du Mesnil Looking to Enhance Grand National Claims
One of Mullins’ best chances of a winner at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival comes in the National Hunt Chase where Gaillard Du Mesnil will feature in the 3m6f contest. The Irish horse has an entry in the Grand National at Aintree in April.
The National Hunt Chase has been used by many Grand National winners as their final prep run before they line up at Aintree. Mullins’ chaser won the Grade One Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown earlier in the campaign, so he sets the standard in the race.
With eight appearances over fences, Gaillard Du Mesnil has a lot of experience for a novice chaser. If successful in the day two contest, it will be the fourth time Mullins has been victorious in the longest race of the meeting.
With 88 Cheltenham Festival winners going into the 2023 meeting, Mullins could be much closer to the 100 mark by the time this year’s renewal of the event concludes.
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