Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins play Thyestes Five-a-side: Who Wins?

The field jump in the 2019 Thyestes Chase

The Thyestes Chase on Thursday at Gowran is always a competitive affair. Eighteen runners in 2021 with Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins combining for ten of them. Five of the last eight years this has gone to Willie Mullins, with Elliott claiming one victory.

We will have our free horse racing tips for the meeting on the site on Wednesday but for now let’s break down their respective teams in this fascinating five a side matchup.


Gordon Elliott

Goalkeeper – Dounikos

A regular in the big staying handicaps but generally seen guarding the rear division. He sports new headgear but needs it to help his concentration.

Defence – Roaring Bull

Picked a few off from the back to finish fifth in this last season from a pound higher. Solid at the back, his main claim to fame is the recipient of Jerry Hannon’s now infamous Paddy Power Chase call in December 2019.

Midfield – Coko Beach

An attacking midfielder, he is better going forward than he is covering at the back. Taken well to chasing in limited opportunities but has to prove he has the stamina to last this out.

Midfield – Run Wild Fred

A mercurial talent who frustrates and delights fans in equal measures. He may look lazy at times but that tendency to keep a little for himself can see him finish stronger than these.

Forward – Alpha Des Obeaux

Likes to go from the front which can help to disrupt the Mullins team who will look to dominate in the lead. A classy type in his own right but had never really built upon a second to Thistlecrack in the 2016 World Hurdle.


Willie Mullins

Goalkeeper – Saturnas

Headgear is on to try and help him concentrate on the job at hand. Seen just twice in the last twenty-eight months, it would be a surprise on his two runs this year if he were to keep a clean sheet.

Defence – Class Conti

Two pounds higher now than when second in this race last year. He was out the back early then as he is likely to be here with the strong pace from his stablemates a help.

Midfield – Brahma Bull

Part of an attacking front three for Mullins. Held up behind Acapella Bourgeois at Tramore last time, making it only as far as the second. His teammates may prove his downfall again here.

Forward – Cabaret Queen

Bravely made every yard in the Kerry National back in September. Six pounds higher now, she will go forward again. She will come up against a number of others who like to do that, however, including her own stablemate.

Forward – Acapella Bourgeois

Bold front-runner was sixth in this race last year. He does all his best work when ridden forward but all his chase wins have come in single figure fields and there looks too many other pace angles in here.


Final Score

Willie Mullins’ team set their stall out early with an impressive attacking display. Three of his five like to go forward which is always going to leave them susceptible at the back. Gordon Elliot has a more balanced team. Alpha Des Obeaux can get amongst the Mullins front runners to disrupt them which will set things up for Run Wild Fred to outstay them late and score the winner.

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