Big-race verdict: Adrian thinks 40-1 Willie Mullins horse could beat A Plus Tard 😮 😮

Willie Mullins after a six-timer at Punchestown

‘It is hard to oppose A Plus Tard’

In an edition that lacks the usual depth, it is hard to oppose A Plus Tard. He is going to be a short price to go back to back in this contest but that is fully justified in this field. He proved his stamina for three miles with his win in the 2020 edition of this race, staying on strongly to pick up Kemboy on the run in, going on very differing paths since. A Plus Tard was a smart second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup before absolutely ripping apart the Betfair Chase at Haydock. Still only seven, the scary fact for his rivals is there may yet be better still to come. – Matt Newman

‘He’s entitled to be a far shorter price’

A Plus Tard is rightly the odds-on favourite and is the one to beat, but his price makes no appeal to me. With three places on offer, I’ll side with Janidil, who won the Grade 1 Gold Cup Novice at Fairyhouse in April. Dropping back to two miles to end the season was the wrong move, and he continued his progress in the John Durkan on seasonal return, finishing a promising second behind Allaho. That run suggested that three miles was within range and on ratings, he’s entitled to be a far shorter price. He should still have further improvement under the hood and with softer ground of no concern, he’s a fascinating contender at a bigger price. – Owen Goulding

‘Never underestimate a Mullins horse’

Bryony Frost will again make the journey across to Ireland for a sole ride in a Grade 1 and I think she has a good each-way chance on Franco De Port for team Willie Mullins. Never underestimate a Mullins horse, we learned that in the King George on Sunday. This horse has only raced over this trip once and that was in the Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown. He had yet to be asked for his effort when he fell three out. He had plenty of excuses in the John Durkan on his return with it being his first run after a break, he made a bad blunder at the fourth-last and raced wide. This step up in trip should suit. – Adrian Wall

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