Mullins excited by Punchestown prospects

Updated: 02/12/2022

Willie Mullins feels he’s got a fresh team going into the Punchestown Festival as he bids to round off a ground-breaking season in style.

Last month Mullins finally got his hands on the Holy Grail as Al Boum Photo and Paul Townend stormed up the Cheltenham hill to win the Gold Cup.

He has since saddled the first three home in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse and is ready to roll for a festival at which he routinely excels.

In 2018 Mullins saddled no less than 18 winners across the five-day meeting at Punchestown and he’s heading into Ireland’s premier jumps meeting once more in confident mood.

“The horses seem to be in great form. All my jockeys are sound and well and riding well, so with a bit of rain forecast, what more could you ask for?” he said. “Punchestown is a huge festival and especially over the last few years it’s gotten bigger and bigger.

“A lot of my horses have had light campaigns this year, so I will be keen to run them where I can.”

On day one Mullins will be hoping to see Klassical Dream back up last month’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle success as he is the 8/13 favourite with Betfred for the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (16:20), the first Grade One at Punchestown.

The feature on day one is the Champion Chase (17:30), where last year’s winner Un De Sceaux joins Great Field and Min in a three-pronged Mullins assault.

Min stormed to victory this month in the Melling Chase at Aintree and is 4/7 favourite to back that up at Punchestown.

Among the highlights of the week will be Wednesday’s Punchestown Gold Cup, where Al Boum Photo takes on Aintree Bowl winner Kemboy in another heavyweight Mullins duel. The pair are currently inseparable in the betting at 6/4 with Betfred.

Odds subject to change.

This post first appeared here

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