Five of Mullins’ Best Chances for Cheltenham Success


It hasn’t been the greatest preparation for Cheltenham 2018 from the Willie Mullins yard. The continued questions over the form of Faugheen and the injury issues of Douvan looks set to deprive him of two of his star turns, either all together or in peak form. There was also the tragic death of 2017 Stayers’ Hurdle winner Nichols Canyon. To cap it all off, he has been without regular jockey Ruby Walsh for the majority of the season.


Things have been looking up for Mullins recently though. Ruby Walsh should be back in the saddle very soon and, most importantly, a number of Mullins’ horses have started to show some excellent form in time for the Festival. Five of his best chances are discussed below, as well as their most dangerous competitors. If you are betting on the races, there are plenty of free bet promotions still available at Free Bets: Cheltenham Festival.




Getabird looks like another gem unearthed by the Mullins and Ricci partnership. Four wins from four from the lightly-raced six-year-old gave reason for connections to be excited, but it was the victory in the Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Hurdle in December that really got punters noticing. A win in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle could point to a big couple of years ahead for Getabird.


Current Odds: 5/2 for Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.


Biggest Danger: Samcro, also 5/2 (William Hill).

Un De Sceaux:


Un De Sceaux would probably be considered a modern great had he not had the misfortune of coming up against Sprinter Sacre’s wonderful swansong period at the back-end of 2016. Still, two Grade 1 wins at the Festival demonstrate his class. He won the Ryanair Chase last year and looks likely to tackle it again. A big chance.


Current Odds: 3/1 for Ryanair Chase.


Biggest Danger: Fox Norton 11/2.





A lot of buzz has surrounded Min ever since his excellent victory in the Coral Dublin Chase in early February. That changed the whole complexion of the Queen Mother Champion Chase, with many punters expressing a preference for Min over the ante-post favourite Altior. Whether he can beat a fully-fit Altior remains to be seen, but that Dublin Chase win was a big, big statement.


Current Odds: 3/1 for Queen Mother Champion Chase:


Biggest Danger: Altior 5/4.





Footpad, along with Gordon Elliott’s Apple’s Jade, have probably been cited most frequently as potential winners of a Grade 1 race at Cheltenham this year. Footpad had an indifferent start to his career over hurdles (3 wins from 10) but has looked excellent since switching to chasing at the beginning of the season. The Arkle looks to be at his mercy.


Current Odds: 4/5 for Arkle Challenge Trophy.


Biggest Danger: Sceau Royal 11/2.



Killultagh Vic:


It is arguable that Willie Mullins has had better Gold Cup entries than Killultagh Vic down the years. However, circumstances may just be perfect for the nine-year-old to fill that gaping hole on Mullins’ impressive CV. Killultagh Vic was last seen falling (when leading at the last) in the Irish Gold Cup in early February, but that hasn’t stopped punters from considering him a real chance for glory. He is a gutsy performer, of the type that will relish a Gold Cup challenge.


Current Odds: 10/1 for Cheltenham Gold Cup.


Biggest Danger: Might Bite 3/1.


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