Willie Mullins is having another outrageous season and is even more dominant than usual. It’s therefore a commonly accepted belief that he’s going to mop up at the Cheltenham Festival. Kicking off on Tuesday, Mullins has a strong hand to play and could well get off to a flyer. We’ve combined four of his best chances on Day 1 into a 100-1 accumulator and if it comes in, the bookies might have to run for cover. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.
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Facile Vega (5-2, bet365) has been primed for this race since winning the Champion Bumper at last year’s Festival. His first two starts over hurdles went to plan and he won a Grade 1 at Leopardstown over Christmas. He’ll need to bounce back after stopping very quickly and losing his unbeaten record at the Dublin Racing Festival last time out but Mullins should have him primed and ready to go.
El Fabiolo (13-8, bet365) shot to the head of the betting after a dominant display in the Irish Arkle in February. A repeat of that level of form here would surely make him very difficult to beat. We may need to see an improvement in his jumping, as one mistake here can end your race. Mullins is sure to have done some work on that front and a clean round of jumping may well get the job done.
Tekao (9-2, bet365) didn’t quite look good enough for the Triumph Hurdle when third by over 12 lengths at Leopardstown last time out. Having said that, Mullins has indicated that he might be good enough for the Grade 1. If that is the case, he must have a massive chance here. The British handicapper has given him a mark of 135 which isn’t generous but he should win if he’s as good as Mullins suggests.
Gaillard Du Mesnil (1-1, bet365) is a second season chaser with plenty of experience. A really solid favourite, he’s a Grade 1 winner over three miles. This has been the plan all year long and you couldn’t ask for a better amateur on board than Patrick Mullins.
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