Willie Mullins Cheltenham Festival Bingo

Just three months until the Cheltenham Festival  its around about this time I like to look at Willie’s runners as a whole and see where they could possibly line up at the big one. Which is quite possibly harder to work out than finding the winners themselves. With such an array of talent at his disposal, here is where I think his horses could end up. I’d strongly advise you not to go wedging your missus Christmas money on these as ante post bets, this is just a bit of fun and are merely my opinions on where I think these horses could end up at the festival, NOT TIPS. 


Supreme Novices Hurdle

Sharjah (20/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Sayar (20/1) (Owner: Mrs Audrey Turley)

Getabird (20/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Ains Va La Vie (33/1) (Owner: Supreme Horse Racing Club)

Carter McKay (33/1) (Owner: Pearl Bloodstock Limited)

Makitorix (33/1) (Owner: Twenty Seven Black Partnership)

As you can see the array of talent Willie has in the novice hurdling department is quite surreal. These are just a handful of the options he has in the market but I feel the most realistic to turn up here. I feel Sharjah is one of the most likely to feature here in the Ricci silks following his two impressive victories since joining the yard. Willie is likely to have a strong hand to play in this one.

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Arkle

Footpad (5/1) (Fav) (Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede)

Bunk Off Early (25/1) (Owner: Supreme Horse Racing Club)

Koshari (25/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Al Boum Photo (33/1) (Owner: Mrs J Donnelly)

Saturnas (33/1) (Owner: Wicklow Bloodstock)

Bamako Moriviere (33/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Footpad finds himself at the top of the market currently in this year’s Arkle. Fifth in last year’s Champion Hurdle he made a real impressive chasing debut with Willie coming out and saying he’s one of the best novice chasers he’s seen. I’d be interested to see what happens with Bamako Moriviere, since getting his jumping sorted out he’s come on leaps and bounds.

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Champion Hurdle

Faugheen (7/4) (Fav) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Melon (14/1) (Owner: Mrs J Donnelly)

Yorkhill (20/1) (Owner: Mr G & Mrs A Wylie)

Min (25/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Limini (25/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Wicklow Brave (40/1) (Owner: Wicklow Bloodstock)

Bapaume (50/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Cilaos Emery (50/1) (Owner: Luke McMahon)

The Machine Faugheen is the obvious main one here for Willie following his impressive comeback victory over Jezki. It looks to be shaping up to be a bit of a match against Buveur D’air however Willie will have a good few other arrows to chuck at this as the betting suggests. I wouldn’t completely write Melon off.

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Mares Hurdle

Limini (11/2) (Owner Mrs S Ricci)

Vroum Vroum Mag (10/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Let’s Dance (12/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Benie Des Deux (20/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Augusta Kate (20/1) (Owner: The Masters Syndicate)

Asthuria (25/1) (Owner: George Creighton)

Karalee (33/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

The Mares race at The Festival is a race that Willie has had a firm grasp on for many years however he now faces the task of trying to lower the colours of last season’s winner and this season’s favourite in Apple’s Jade. He’ll have plenty of options to take her on with with Limini, Vroum Vroum Mag & Let’s Dance and exciting new recruit Benie Des Deux all lining up for the Ricci’s behind Apple’s Jade in the market.

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Ballymore Novices Hurdle

Next Destination (14/1) (Owner: Malcolm C Denmark)

Getabird (20/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Fabulous Saga (25/1) (Owner: Sullivan Bloodstock)

Whoever goes for this contest looks to have the tall order of taking on the mightily impressive Samcro, however the few that Willie has in here at the moment are no slouches. Next Destination was very impressive on his hurdles debut, as was Getabird and Fabulous Saga recently bolted up in a Grade 3 by 70 lengths.

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RSA Chase

Bacardys (20/1) (Owner: Shanakeil Racing Syndicate)

Invitation Only (20/1) (Owner: Mr G & Mrs A Wylie)

Rathvinden (25/1) (Owner: R A Bartlett)

Al Boum Photo (33/1) (Owner: Mrs J Donnelly)

The RSA this year is a race that Willie perhaps doesn’t have as strong a hand to play in as some of the other contests, so far that is. With some big names competing at the top of the market however he still has some talented sorts that could end up here none other so than dual Grade 1 winner Bacardys.

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Champion Chase

Douvan (3/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Min (8/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Yorkhill (14/1) (Owner: Mr G & Mrs A Wylie)

Un De Sceaux (16/1) (Owner: Edward O’Connell)

Great Field (20/1) (Owner: J P McManus)

This year’s Champion Chase has been dubbed the match between Altior and Douvan however we’ve yet to see either due to set backs blighting their campaigns thus far. As you can see from the above horses though it’s not as if Willie is short in the talent department for this race. There’s some colossal names that could go here and I think Min might be the one to be most interesting should the big two not turn up.

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JLT Novices Chase

Footpad (14/1) (Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede)

Bacardys (20/1) (Owner: Shanakeil Racing Syndicate)

Invitation Only (20/1) (Owner: Mr G & Mrs A Wylie)

Saturnas (25/1) (Owner: Wicklow Bloodstock)

Al Boum Photo (33/1) (Owner: Mrs J Donnelly)

Quite similar to the RSA the JLT is one of the races where Willie has a slightly more unclear and weaker hand to play with again some strong names at the top of affairs at the head of the market. However just like that race some of the names above could still have a lot of improving and might find themselves a lot shorter on the day.

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Ryanair Chase

Un De Sceaux (6/1) (J Fav) (Owner: Edward O’Connell)

Yorkhill (8/1) (Owner: Mr G & Mrs A Wylie)

Min (9/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Djakadam (12/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Benie Des Dieux (20/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Killutagh Vic (20/1) (Owner: Mrs R Boyd/B Anderson/M Armstrong)

It looks the likely path for Un De Sceaux this year to attempt to retain his Ryanair crown as he finds himself at the top of the market with Fox Norton following him hacking up on his reappearance. Despite them stating his target is the Gold Cup I still think there is a chance of Djakadam turning up here too.

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Stayers Hurdle

Nichols Canyon (7/1) (J Fav) (Owner: Mr G & Mrs A Wylie)

Penhill (16/1) (Owner: Tony Bloom)

Killutagh Vic (20/1) (Owner: Mrs R Boyd/B Anderson/M Armstrong)

Faugheen (20/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Vroum Vroum Mag (20/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Just like Un De Sceaux in the Ryanair, Nichols Canyon looks to be the most likely to turn up here in an attempt to retain his crown in the Stayers. It’ll be interesting to see if Penhill can come back from his injury following his win in the Albert Bartlett last year.

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Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

Next Destination (12/1) (J Fav) (Owner: Malcom C Denmark)

Fabulous Saga (20/1) (Owner: Sullivan Bloodstock)

Ainsi Va La Vie (25/1) (Owner: Supreme Horse Racing Club)

Getabird (25/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Brahma Bull (33/1) (Owner Mrs S Ricci)

Coquin Mans (33/1) (Owner: George Creighton)

Next Destination is at the top of affairs here at the moment in a race Willie won last year with Penhill. I’m fascinated to see if Brahma Bull will turn up at the festival though, he’s looked really good in bumpers and his long awaited debut over hurdles for Willie.

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Gold Cup

Yorkhill (8/1) (Owner: Mr G & Mrs A Wylie)

Douvan (12/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Djakadam (25/1) (Owner: Mrs S Ricci)

Reports have stated time and time again that Djakdam will once again be Willie’s Gold Cup horse again this time around. However i’m convinced it will be Yorkhill. I’m not saying go all out with an ante post bet but if he makes a successful reappearance chasing and hacks up a few times I can see him being right in and amongst at the top of affairs here.

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