Cheltenham Festival – Willie Mullins thinks this horse could win the Arkle

Willie Mullins at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival

You can get the low-down on all of Willie Mullins’ runners for the upcoming campaign in Racing Post’s Stable Tour. It’s available for Racing Post Members’ Club subscribers in full on the website and will prove an invaluable guide for this season.

Mullins gave plenty of fascinating insight into his squad when speaking to Racing Post. That included information on some his stable stars, including one he’s extremely keen on for a major race at the Cheltenham Festival.

You can find all the quotes and information on that horse below, as he begins his road to the Festival!


High Hopes

The Arkle Challenge Trophy is a race that Willie Mullins has dominated in recent years. He’s won the race four times in the past six years, latterly with Duc Des Genievres in 2019. Given the incredible success he’s enjoyed in the contest, it makes his comments about Unexcepted all the more interesting.

Carrying the famous colours of JP McManus, Unexcepted looks to have a very bright future. Running just three times over hurdles, he beat subsequent Grade 2 winner Jason The Militant for his sole success in that sphere. He left that form in the dust on chasing/seasonal debut, however, with a dominant success at Tipperary.

He jumped his rivals into the floor in a remarkable performance, travelling all over the field throughout the contest. Speaking of that performance to Racing Post, Mullins said: “Mark [Walsh] came back in after the race at Tipperary and said he felt the horse was only doing a nice handy speed; he didn’t realise how far clear he was“.


Arkle Bound

It’s very evident that this six-year-old could be something special. He wasn’t out of second gear at Tipperary and when the handbrake comes off, who knows how good he could be. Mullins evidently thinks he’ll be well above average, with the Arkle looking to be his end game.

Speaking of his abundant talent, Mullins told Racing Post: “He could be our Arkle horse. He has huge natural talent to jump fences and a very high cruising speed.”

He currently sits at 16/1 in the market for the Arkle, but that price is unlikely to stay. If he produces another clinical performance against better opposition, you’d have to expect his price to collapse in anticipation of another Mullins superstar gracing the Prestbury Park turf come March.


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