Cheltenham Festival 2022: Another Mullins Masterclass in store at Prestbury Park?

Willie Mullins Close Up

With the Cheltenham Festival creeping up, a familiar face is favourite once more to claim the Top Trainer title. Willie Mullins has an embarrassment of riches ready to fire at some of the week's biggest races and our man Billy Grimshaw has taken a look through his leading lights and assessed their chance of turning their potential into prizes. 

Dysart Dynamo - Supreme Novices' Hurdle

The master of Closutton seems to always have either the favourite or a leading chance in this race, with some of his success stories including Champagne Fever, Vautour, Douvan and of course last year's runaway winner Appreciate It. His hand looks predictably strong once more to kick off the week in the perfect fashion with Kilcruit, Bring On The Night and El Fabiolo all supposedly intended runners. His best chance, assuming the predicted running plans of sending Sir Gerhard up in trip come to pass, will be current Supreme second favourite Dysart Dynamo

He seems to be blessed with a rare turn of foot and has had his trainer, who has seen it all in this game, waxing lyrical over his ability after he followed in the footsteps of the aforementioned Supreme winners in romping to Moscow Flyer Novices' Hurdle success at Punchestown in January. If as anticipated he is the mount of Paul Townend and lines up for this race, expect the Mullins Day One punters to hammer Dysart Dynamo into favouritism and judging by the horse's brilliant on track performances so far do not be surprised to see Willie Mullins 1-0 The Rest after the curtain raiser of the Festival.

Gaelic Warrior - Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle

There is definitely no favourite at the Festival with more to prove than Gaelic Warrior, who were he to be housed with any other representative of the training ranks would surely be a double-figured price for this contest. Not seen on track in Britain or Ireland, but boasting some smart French form, he was bought by the Ricci's and promptly transferred to Willie Mullins yard to begin his career on these shores. Upon seeing his mark of 129 the trainer has wisely decided to preserve him in preparation for this race and it is not unreasonable to assume this exciting recruit could have double figure pounds in hand. There is no race more suited to horse's with this type of profile all week but the juice in the price has surely gone now despite the potential he has to bolt up.

Cheltenham Free Bets

Stattler - National Hunt Chase

After his Albert Bartlett fourth in 2021, many shrewd judges pinpointed the National Hunt Chase as the obvious target for Stattler once embarking on his novice chase career. Stamina is clearly his forte, however he is not short of speed either and looks to have the perfect blend for this contest now it has shortened slightly from its days as the gruelling four mile contest it once was. With the chirping of son Patrick in his ear imploring him to send Stattler to this amateur riders only contest and let him take the ride, it is unsurprising Willie Mullins has had this race in mind for much of the winter and in his joust for favouritism with Run Wild Fred expect Stattler to come out on top if Mullins starts the Festival in flying form. 

These two dominate the market and it could be an epic renewal of the race if both perform to their optimum at the maximum trip for novices at Prestbury Park, but it is Stattler who has the edge in my book and this could be another winner to seal a memorable first day for Team Mullins.

Sir Gerhard - Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

Previously mentioned in the preview of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, Sir Gerhard is widely expected to sidestep the Tuesday opener in favour of Wednesday's to ensure Mullins has a top tier runner in both contests. There is some conjecture over which horse would suit which contest better but it seems the growing consensus is the 2m5f test will help Sir Gerhard on the jumping front and will allow him to exemplify his stamina as well as his potent turn of foot. Currently best price 11/8 with the NRMB firms, expect Mullins' charge to go off odds-on for this contest if as expected he is the Ballymore representative. Although there are some interesting rivals in the shape of Journey with Me and Ginto Sir Gerhard looks one of Mullins' best chances of the week. Champion Bumper winners often thrive over longer trips than the two miles of that contest and that record is another tick in Sir Gerhard's column for this race.

Galopin Des Champs - Brown Advisory Novices' Chase

This profile comes with the reddest of red flags possible, as recently Willie Mullins has been indicating that the odds-on favourite for this three mile chase will sidestep the contest in favour of a pulsating battle with Bob Olinger in the Turners Novices' Chase on the following day over 2m5f. Assuming that happens, many will be deprived of seeing Galopin Des Champs over what most would consider his optimum trip and it has certainly raised the eyebrow of many a racing fan. Were Galopin Des Champs to line up here instead he would have an outstanding chance of backing up last year's Martin Pipe success with another victory at the Festival. He looks a relentless galloper and his chase debut was nothing short of spectacular with a round of jumping the quality of which has scarcely been seen from a debutant before. Whichever race he runs in he will have his army of followers and a leading chance but in this scribe's humble opinion (and who am I to tell WIllie Mullins where to run a horse) Galopin Des Champs should be running in and winning this race not the Turners.

Facile Vega - Champion Bumper

It wouldn't be a Cheltenham Festival without a Willie Mullins hotpot in the Bumper touted for superstardom. That honour this season looks set to be bestowed upon Facile Vega, a stunningly impressive twelve length victor at Leopardstown back in early February. Mullins has other well fancied runners such as Mercurey, Redemption Day and James's Gate, but Facile Vega should be the number one choice for the stable and will probably be a shades of odds-on if the Closutton trainer is having a good week up until that point. Despite the obvious 'wow' factor displayed on his last performance and the huge potential for more improvement, this is a Mullins favourite I would be opposing due to the presence of one horse in opposition, American Mike for Gordon Elliott. He looked every bit as impressive if not more so than Facile Vega when last seen in late 2021 at Navan and with an odds comparison at the moment of 10/11 versus 11/4, the choice is clear and it is not to take on the Mullins jolly with the expected mount of revered bumper pilot Jamie Codd.

Allaho - Ryanair Chase

Allaho wins the Ryanair Chase for the second year running on Thursday 17 March. The end.

In truth that is all anyone needs to say about this contest when previewing and analysing the race. His monstrous performance in this race last year means he is the master trainer's banker of the week and it is nigh on impossible to see anything in the field troubling him if he runs to within ten pounds of his best. Sit back, relax and hopefully enjoy another thrilling exhibition from this Cheveley Park owned superstar. Mullins has a live place contender in Janadil who could very well be ridden to pick up the pieces behind his illustrious stablemate and in the without Allaho markets he could be one to side with, particularly if horses from rival yards decide to try and take Allaho on from the front and pay the price. 

Cheltenham Gold Cup

Brandy Love - Mares Novices' Hurdle

A race that has been a happy hunting ground for the Mullins team is the Mares Novices' Hurdle, with stars such as Limini, Let's Dance and Laurina romping home in the past to bring glory to the stable. He is unsurprisingly mob-handed for this year's contest and the mare atop the market currently is Brandy Love. Beaten last time out by stablemate and another entrant in this race Allegorie De Vassy, the case for a reversal of form seems to hinge on the fact Brandy Love has shown a propensity to hang and jump left, something which should be less of an issue at Cheltenham than it was at the right handed Fairyhouse. If this is enough to bridge the three and a half length gap to Allegorie De Vassy remains to be seen and with such a plethora of other entrants in the race Brandy Love is not one of Mullins' stronger favourites of the week. Grangee took a fall in the aforementioned race at Fairyhouse but looked to be travelling well and at a much bigger price looks to be a better value bet for the Closutton stable.

Vauban - Triumph Hurdle

The final Mullins favourite under the microscope is Vauban, a juvenile hurdler who made lightwork of previous race favourite Fil Dor in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown in early February. Usually, a performance like this would guarantee outright favouritism for a race at the Festival, however Vauban was beaten previously by Gordon Elliott's Pied Piper and he has since successfully conquered Cheltenham, with the all important course form now a tick in Pied Piper's column that Vauban cannot match. With a victory over Vauban earlier in the season far from assuring his supremacy, especially when it comes to juvenile runners, the two sit closely matched both in form and in price. However, with Vauban slightly shorter odds than Pied Piper he is a Mullins runner to take on as the fourth and final day begins, with Pied Piper just fancied to shade the rematch and give the Elliott yard a winner over his rival.

 

Cheltenham Tips
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Deposit £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)

#AD New UK, IE & Malta users only. Min. £10/€10 first deposit only using Debit Card or Trustly. Free bets expire in 90 days. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Money Back As Cash Up To £20
#AD Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Get £36 In Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. A first free £5 fixed odds bet will be credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 4 x following £5 free fixed odds bets will be added to your account on consecutive days. BeGambleAware.org. 18+. T&Cs apply
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Latest racing results
Ayr
13:35
1stGirl Magic
2ndMontelusa
3rdGeorgiava
Yarmouth
13:25
1stFranco Grasso
2ndCentral City
3rdVoi
Ayr
13:00
1stOtto Oyl
2ndDandy Maestro
3rdJust Hiss
View All Today's Results