After landing all eight Grade 1 races at the Dublin Racing Festival, all roads now lead to the Cheltenham Festival for Irish trainer Willie Mullins.
The master of Closutton is no stranger to Cheltenham success either, notching up a staggering 93 winners over the years and being crowned the Leading Trainer at the Festival on ten occasions, including the last five consecutive years.
With the 2024 Cheltenham Festival fast approaching, several Mullins’ horses are already short-priced favourites. We look closer at the 10/1 Willie Mullins Cheltenham Festival Acca that the bookies fear.
Ballyburn - Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Ballyburn notched his first Grade 1 success when winning the Tattersalls Ireland 50th Derby Sale Novice Hurdle in stunning fashion at the Dublin Racing Festival.
That victory saw the six-year-old move to the head of the antepost betting for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, a race that Willie Mullins has won on seven occasions, including in 2021 with Appreciate It.
Ballyburn showed plenty of pace at Leopardstown under Paul Townend, and he looks tailor-made to go close in the Supreme.
Lossiemouth - Mares’ Hurdle
With six wins from seven career starts, including in last year’s Triumph Hurdle, Lossiemouth is a mare that looks destined for great things, and she is the one they all have to beat in the Mares’ Hurdle.
She blew away the field in the International Hurdle on Cheltenham Trials Day, with many feeling she has the class to take on Constitution Hill and State Man in the Champion Hurdle.
That looks unlikely, but she seems like a rock-solid bet 35 minutes later on day one of the Festival.
El Fabiolo - Champion Chase
El Fabiolo continued his unbeaten record over fences when cruising to success in the Dublin Chase at the weekend, and he looks hard to oppose in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, with reigning champion and stablemate Energumene ruled out.
Having defeated Jonbon in the Arkle last year, a repeat contest is on the cards this season. There’s little reason to expect another victory for El Fab, especially after Jonbon’s shock defeat on Cheltenham Trials Day.
Galopin Des Champs - Gold Cup
Galopin Des Champs landed the Irish Gold Cup for the second year in a row at Leopardstown, and it would be no shock to see him land the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the second time also come March.
Having put Gerri Colombe to the sword in the Savills Chase at Christmas, Galopin Des Champs again put in a dominating performance to win his seventh Grade 1 chase.
He’s now odds on with the bookmakers to land the Gold Cup again, and with Cheltenham a course that plays to his strengths, he looks very hard to oppose.