When a trainer sends a horse across the Irish Sea, it’s usually for a very good reason. Travelling isn’t cheap and given the current travel bans in place, it can be a difficult process to navigate.
That makes the news of a Willie Mullins entry at Market Rasen on Saturday all the more interesting. The Irish master is known for his incredible bumper prospects and he could be unleashing another special horse on Saturday.
You can find all the details about Mullins’ sole entry below, including our thoughts on his chances in a competitive Listed contest. Our horse racing tips are also on site now.
After a strong Festive period at home in Ireland, the Mullins’ camp must be brimming with confidence. He trained no less than six Grade 1 winners over Christmas, including victories for Chacun Pour Soi, Apperciate It, Monkfish and Sharjah.
It’s been advisable to follow Mullins’ British runners in recent years. The statistics speak for themselves:
- 2019-20: 8/68, 12% SR (-£14.17)
- 2018-19: 8/74, 11% SR (£19.38)
- 2017-18: 10/74, 14% SR (£8.96)
- 2016-17: 9/52, 17% SR (£9.58)
If you drill that down to just bumper races, that is where things get very interesting. From 108 runners, he has secured 13 winners, and that constitutes to a massive £43.75 profit.
Champion Bumper candidate?
A daughter of Great Pretender, Grangee could be a legitimate Champion Bumper candidate. She made her debut at Galway back in October, sent off 5/4 favourite for that contest against some other useful prospects.
She turned it into a precession, however, and quickened clear impressively under hand riding. A shrewd 22,000 euro purchase, she’s from a smart National Hunt family, a half-sister to bumper winners Cote Mer and Box Office.
Nico De Boinville will take the ride and she’s open to any amount of progress for her champion trainer. Mullins won the race twelve months ago with Panic Attack, and that was his sole previous runner at the venue. This will be a true test of her ability, but she seems up to the task.
Speaking to Racing Post, jockey and assistant trainer Patrick Mullins said: “She surprised us with how impressive she was in a strongly run race, so Willie nominated her for the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival afterwards“.
Market Rasen is likely to be a stepping stone on the way to a tilt at that Grade 1 contest, but it’s a runner of great significance in the context of the overall travel situation. As we weigh up the possibility of a Cheltenham without the usual strong and plentiful Irish contingent, it’s a bumper race to savour.