The Deadliest Duo – Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott’s Christmas crackers

Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins

Two dominant forces in National Hunt racing, Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins have ruled the roost in Ireland for a number of years. Their potent forces have farmed races on this side of the Irish Sea too, with Cheltenham Festival winners aplenty for both yards.

The Christmas period plays host to some incredible racing action, including a multitude of Grade 1 races. Both Mullins and Elliott will be unleashing some of their leading runners over the festive period, with Festival credentials ready to be put on the line.

We’ve delved into the Christmas declarations and all of the duos key runners can be found below! Some of their runners are sure to slip into our free horse racing tips over the festive period too.


Willie Mullins

Energumene

Likely Engagement: Racing Post Novice Chase

We’ve seen this promising six-year-old just four times under rules thus far. Winning his bumper at the second attempt, he was a comfortable maiden hurdle winner at Gowran back in March. Chasing is clearly his game, however, and he make a successful switch to these obstacles at the same venue last month. The sky is the limit and another big run has to be expected.

Asterion Forlonge

Likely Engagement: Faugheen Novice Chase

A Grade 1 winner over hurdles, the Supreme fourth made a successful chasing debut at Punchestown last month. He did make a few mistakes, but it was a very promising performance and a step up in distance is set to really suit him. He sets the form standard and if building on that opening effort, he’s going to very tough to beat.

Chacun Pour Soi

Likely Engagement: Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase

As the odds suggest, this should be a facile success for this Champion Chase contender. A dual Grade 1 winner, he ended last season with a comfortable success over Min. He looked better than ever on return with a dominant success at Cork and he’s clear on ratings in this field.

Appreciate It

Likely Engagement: Future Champions Novice Hurdle

Went down narrowly to Ferny Hollow in the Champion Bumper and made a successful switch to hurdling at Cork last month. Has a huge amount of potential and should have plenty more to offer over obstacles. Obvious chance if taking another step forward.

Saint Roi

Likely Engagement: Matheson Hurdle

One of the leading contenders for the Champion Chase, he won last year’s County Hurdle and was a Grade 3 winner on return. Unlucky not to win the Morgiana on his latest outing after a very poor passage and this progressive sort may gain revenge on that rival on this occasion.


Gordon Elliott

Felix Desjy

Likely Engagement: Racing Post Novice Chase

Unbeaten in two starts over fences, latterly when taking a Grade 2 at Punchestown. Far more impressive than the winning margin suggests and his form over timber suggests further improvement should be forthcoming over fences. Has the proven form advantage over Energumene and has to be respected.

Ballyadam

Likely Engagement: Future Champions Novice Hurdle

Point winner who came with a big reputation, unbeaten in three starts under rules thus far. Winning his hurdling debut two starts ago, he readily took Grade 1 honours at Fairyhouse last month in the Royal Bond. Still a baby by the trainers admission and further experience should yield plenty of improvement. He’s already drawn comparisons to Envoi Allen and a win here would certainly make the parallels unmistakable.

Sire Du Berlais

Likely Engagement: Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle

Won the Pertemps to cap off a progressive 2019/20 campaign. Despite a drop back to 2m 4f being against him, he made a winning Grade 2 return at Navan last month. Back up in distance today and is one of the main protagonists in the Stayers’ Hurdle market. Clear on ratings and has excellent claims.

Presenting Percy / Delta Work

Likely Engagement: Savills Chase

Previously trained by Patrick Kelly, Presenting Percy got his career back on track with a Listed success at Thurles last month. He downed a very useful field that day and this would be just his third start in the care of Gordon Elliott. The sky was thought to be the limit after his RSA Chase and he was favourite for the 2019 Gold Cup, so perhaps this season will be the making of him.

Elliott is also likely to run last year’s winner Delta Work, who is unbeaten over this course and distance over fences. He loves it here and although he was disappointing on return, Leopardstown has been his happy hunting ground. Much of his chance hinges on his jumping and if he gets into a good rhythm, he’s an obvious player.

Abacadabras

Likely Engagement: Matheson Hurdle 

Hit the front too soon when beaten a head in the Supreme back in March and although beaten on return, he made amends with a Grade 1 victory at Punchestown.

Saint Roi was back in second that day and although that rival was perhaps unlucky, you’d struggle to say the race was run to suit him Abacadabras either. He’ll need a strong pace to aim at and needs to be played at the perfect time, as he does very little when striking the front.


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