Willie Mullins Stable Tour 2019/20

Champion trainer quickly up and running with embarrassment of riches to juggle

Ireland’s most powerful jumps yard has got quickly up and running as the season clicks into gear and, with strength in depth across all divisions, Willie Mullins, the most successful trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival and 13-time champion trainer in his home country, is understandably happy with his lot.

Last season proved a memorable one for the Mullins yard with Al Boum Photo providing the trainer with a first Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup win and a first BoyleSports Irish Grand National courtesy of Burrows Saint.

Other highlights included a hat-trick of Grade 1 chase wins for Kemboy, who rounded off his season by defeating Al Boum Photo in the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup. The Cheltenham showpiece is again the target for Al Boum Photo and Kemboy, although plans for the latter are uncertain because of the rumpus over the Supreme Horse Racing Club, whose colours he has raced in, which has had its ownership cancelled by Horse Racing Ireland.

At the start of last season the name of Chacun Pour Soi meant nothing to anyone outside the Mullins yard. But by the end of the campaign it was a very different story. A 31-length win at Naas in March was followed by victory in the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase at the Punchestown festival when he mastered Defi Du Seuil and Duc Des Genievres, both of whom had won at the Cheltenham Festival.

Chacun Pour Soi’s season is likely to be geared towards the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March.

Douvan’s successful return in the Clonmel Oil Chase on Thursday was the highlight of a Mullins four-timer at Clonmel, while another old favourite, Faugheen, made a successful start as a chaser at the age of 11 when scoring on a big day for the yard at Punchestown on Saturday.

Another veteran chaser on the team is ten-time Grade 1 winner Un De Sceaux, who has the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown next month as his first target.

Benie Des Dieux, who won the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil in May, is one of the big-name hurdlers on the Mullins team and is due to start her campaign in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 1.

The trainer will have multiple runners in many big races and that was the case on Saturday when Saldier upstaged Klassical Dream, a three-time Grade 1-winning novice last season, to give Mullins a ninth straight victory in the Grade 1 Unibet Morgiana Hurdle.

Stable profile

Yard Closutton
Where Bagenalstown, County Carlow
Started training 1987
Horses in yard 180
Members of staff 65
Assistant trainers Patrick Mullins, David Casey, Ruby Walsh (when media duties allow)
Yard managers Dick Dowling, Rachael Robins, John Codd
Travelling head lad Ben Delmer
Secretaries Caitriona Murphy, Jo Sharp
Jockeys Paul Townend, David Mullins, Danny Mullins, Brian Hayes, Rachael Blackmore
Conditionals Liam Gilligan, Conor McNamara
Amateurs Patrick Mullins, Jody Townend, Richie Deegan, Ruth Dudfield, Aubrey McMahon
Website wpmullins.com

Winners in Ireland

2018-19 207
2017-18 212
2016-17 180
2015-16 185

Profit/loss to €1 stake

2018-19 -169.99
2017-18 -80.97
2016-17 -27.58
2015-16 +14.33

Prize-money 2018-19


Acapella Bourgeois
Pedigree: nine-year-old gelding
Network (sire) – Jasmine (dam)
Owner: Slaneyville Syndicate
Form figures: 2P/013-0
Racing Post Rating: 157 chase
Official Rating: 152 chase
He did quite well last season after returning from a long absence, winning over 2m4f at Clonmel before running a fine race to finish third in the Irish Grand National. Soft ground is probably the key to him and I think he might still have the spark to win a decent prize this season.

Star quality

Al Boum Photo
7g Buck’s Boum – Al Gane
Mrs J Donnelly
RPR 178c OR 175c
He wasn’t the best-fancied of our runners in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he gave us a day to remember with our first win in the race. Because of the dry ground for much of last winter he ran only once before the festival when winning at Tramore on New Year’s Day. He’ll have plenty of entries and the ground situation is thankfully different this year, so there should be plenty of races to choose from. However, it’s quite possible we’ll take the same route back to the Gold Cup by running him at Tramore again.

Al Boum Photo: will have plenty of entries but could just take the same route to Cheltenham as last season
Al Boum Photo: will have plenty of entries but could just take the same route to Cheltenham as last season.
Patrick McCann

5g No Risk At All – Idaho Falls
Cheveley Park Stud
RPR 148h OR 147h
He’s one we’ve been looking forward to going chasing with. He did quite well as a staying novice hurdler last season, winning a Grade 3 and being placed in Grade 1s at the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals. He’s had a little hold-up – he tore off a shoe and jabbed a foot – but he should be running at some stage next month and we’re hopeful of a good campaign in the top staying novice chases.

6g Martaline – Tashtiyana
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 122h OR –
He’s eligible for novice hurdles for another few weeks, but I’m keen to send him over fences. He’s been very lightly raced and we think he’s better than his hurdle form would suggest.

6g Lord Of England – Achinora
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 115c 132h OR 134h
A fine big chasing type, he started off over fences at Punchestown on Saturday and made a few mistakes. He should improve for the run which was his first since he gave Katie Walsh her final win at the 2018 Punchestown festival. He had a setback which kept him off the track last season.

6g Monsun – Aramina
Supreme Horse Racing Club & Michael Songer
RPR 148h OR 148h
He won a Grade 1 novice by ten lengths at Leopardstown’s Christmas festival and will probably stay hurdling rather than go over fences. He’ll be running in Graded hurdles and I’d imagine he’ll be in action at Leopardstown next month.

8g Coastal Path – Oasice
Shanakiel Racing Syndicate
RPR 162h OR 157h
We were delighted with his performance at Navan this month when he won the Lismullen Hurdle in good style. He’s in the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse [December 1], but that might come a bit soon and we may wait for the 3m Grade 1 at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

6g Turtle Bowl – Brouhaha
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 160h 124c OR 158h
He started over fences at Fairyhouse last Tuesday and, while he jumped very well, he weakened quickly when headed. Maybe the 2m5f trip was a bit far for him – he wouldn’t be the first good staying hurdler to need shorter trips over fences – and we’re thinking of dropping him in distance. He’s not a big horse and hopefully his sound jumping can be used to good effect. 

9g King’s Theatre – Fairy Native
Andrea & Graham Wylie
RPR 172c OR 167c
He had his big day last season in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown and we fancied him for the Cheltenham Gold Cup but he proved very disappointing. He didn’t jump well and was pulled up. Ruby [Walsh] felt he was a bit jarred after racing on much quicker ground at Leopardstown. He’ll have plenty of entries and I’m not sure where he’ll start off. It could be in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown next month if the ground is suitable.

Star quality

Benie Des Dieux
8m Great Pretender – Cana
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 156h 147c OR 157h 147c
But for falling at the last in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham she would have had a Grade 1 hat-trick last season after subsequently winning at Punchestown and then beating star French mare De Bon Coeur in the French Champion Hurdle. She’s top class and will probably reappear in the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse on December 1. The Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham will again be a target and maybe the French Champion Hurdle again. She’s unbeaten over fences but, while you should never say never, chasing isn’t part of the plan this season.

Berkshire Royal
4g Sir Percy – Forest Express
Mrs JM Mullins
412239- (Flat)
He won three races for Andrew Balding, a handicap at Chester and two on the all-weather, and was rated 86. We bought him a year ago and he’ll be running in novice hurdles. He’s a bit behind in his work but should be appearing around Christmas.

6g Stowaway – Rinnce Moll
Roaringwater Syndicate
RPR 142h OR –
A good bumper horse two seasons back, he had to miss last season and made a belated start over hurdles when a close second over 2m at Naas this month. He was quite keen and made a few mistakes, but with that experience behind him he should go on and do well. Going up in trip shouldn’t be a problem.

Blazing Emily
5m Presenting – Blazing Tempo
Kenneth Alexander
RPR 122h OR –
She’s been placed in a couple of Listed hurdles since winning a maiden over 2m4f at Listowel in September. She was disappointing at Cork last time and Paul [Townend] said she felt lifeless. Mares’ races over plenty of distance will be her job.

Blue Sari
4g Saddex – Blue Aster
JP McManus
RPR 122h OR –
His bumper form was good last season when he ran Envoi Allen to three-quarters of a length in the Cheltenham Festival bumper after winning by 11 lengths on his debut at Gowran Park. We’re looking forward to a novice hurdle campaign with him and he made a good start winning a maiden over 2m4f at Punchestown on Saturday. He was quite keen in the early stages and I think a strongly run two-mile race will suit him well. I’d imagine he’ll go to Leopardstown at Christmas.

Brahma Bull
8g Presenting – Oligarch Society
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 148c OR –
A staying chaser who is improving all the time. His jumping technique was very good when Brian Hayes rode him to win at Cork this month. He’s in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse on December 1 and might go there.

5m Sixties Icon – Eastern Paramour
J Turner
RPR 129h OR 128h
She’s been performing well on the Flat since she last ran over hurdles in April and 128 looks a lovely handicap mark for her. I’m not sure about long-term plans, but she’ll be running in mares’ races and we’ll see how she progresses.

Burrows Saint
6g Saint Des Saints – La Bombanera
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 155c OR 156c
The Randox Health Grand National would look an obvious target for the horse who gave us our first Irish Grand National win, but I’m not sure we’ll go that route. We’ll see how much he can improve on his current rating and whether he might get high enough up the ladder for some of the Grade 1 chases. He’s won on good ground and on soft.

Cabaret Queen
7m King’s Theatre – La Dame Brune
Syndicates Racing
RPR 146c OR 142c
We’re aiming her at the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury at the end of this month and hoping she might emulate Total Recall, who won that race for us two years ago after landing the Munster National on his previous start. Like Total Recall, she’ll have a big hike in the weights to overcome if she is to achieve the double. The Munster National win was her first run for us and she handled the testing ground well, winning by 13 lengths. She came out of the race well and we’re very happy with her.

7g Early March – Mirquille
Supreme Horse Racing Club & Kenneth Sharp
RPR 165c OR 162c
He was kept busy in 2018 and again in the first few months of this year. He produced an excellent performance to win the Topham Chase at Aintree where he jumped super and made all. He’ll be running in races from 2m to around 2m6f.

Carefully Selected
7g Well Chosen – Knockamullen Girl
Miss MA Masterson
RPR 147h OR 146h
Because of the unusually dry spell last winter he ran only twice, winning a 2m6f maiden hurdle at Limerick before running third in a Grade 1 over 3m at the Punchestown festival. He won a point-to-point before winning two bumpers and chasing was always going to be his game. He might start off in a 2m5f beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse on November 30.

Cash Back
7g Linda’s Lad – Holding
Watch This Space Syndicate
RPR 140h OR 141h
He won a maiden hurdle and ran second in a Grade 2 novice. He’s fit and ready to start off over fences in the near future.

Castlebawn West
6g Westerner – Cooksgrove Lady
Mrs R Boyd, Mrs MJ Armstrong & JB Anderson
RPR 137c RPR 136h, OR 135h
Danny Mullins rode him when he was fifth on his chasing debut at Fairyhouse last Tuesday. He came back and said he would be very competitive next time. He won a bumper and a 2m4f maiden hurdle and will be one for novice chases over 2m4f-plus.

Star quality

Chacun Pour Soi
7g Policy Maker – Kruscyna
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 165c OR 167c
A really exciting horse who showed a lot last season when trouncing his rivals by 31 lengths on his debut at Naas in March before putting up an exceptional performance when beating two Grade 1 Cheltenham Festival winners in Defi Du Seuil and Duc Des Genievres in a 2m Grade 1 at the Punchestown festival. He came right too late to be a Cheltenham horse last season, but fingers crossed all will go well with him this season and if it does then he would look a worthy Champion Chase contender. I would have no problem stepping him up in trip and he is in the John Durkan over 2m4f at Punchestown and the King George at Kempton, but we’ll probably keep him to 2m in the immediate future and consider the Hilly Way at Cork next month or the Grade 1 at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Chacun Pour Soi: "If all goes well he'd look a worthy Champion Chase contender"
Chacun Pour Soi: “If all goes well he’d look a worthy Champion Chase contender”
Patrick McCann

Ciel De Neige
4g Authorized – In Caso Di Neve
M L Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 135h OR 134h
A maiden over hurdles, he ran a cracking race on his first start for us when third in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham in March. He looks a good prospect for novice hurdles.

Cilaos Emery
7g Califet – Queissa
Luke McMahon
RPR 155c 
A Grade 1 winner as a novice hurdler, he pulled a muscle when winning on his chasing debut at Gowran Park in January and missed the rest of the season. He came back with a good win in a Grade 3 at Naas this month on only his second start over fences. We’ll consider sending him to Cork for the Hilly Way Chase or maybe wait until Leopardstown at Christmas. We’ll probably stick to 2m with him.

Class Conti
7g Poliglote – Gazelle Lulu
Patrick Joubert
RPR 152c OR 147c
We might go the handicap chase route with him, although Patrick [Mullins] is keen that he goes for cross-country races, so we’ll have to see who wins that argument. He won by 23 lengths on his first start for us at Tramore in April and scoped wrong after running poorly in a handicap at Punchestown.

6m Flemensfirth – Poetics Girl
Mrs N Flynn
RPR 130h
A nice prospect for novice hurdles, she started off by finishing second over 2m at Cork on Sunday. She was a bit disappointing and might have needed the race more than we thought. She was a very good bumper mare, winning three including a Grade 1 at the Punchestown festival and we might need to step her up in distance.

5m Nathaniel – Zabzig
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
RPR 138h
She went very close to making a winning debut when losing out by a short head in the Grade 2 mares’ novice hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. She’s ready for action and should be set for a good hurdling campaign.

Cool Colonnade
5g Requinto – Reine De Coeur
RG & JD Partnership
RPR 132c 115h, OR 133c 116h
He’s having a winter break and will be back in the spring when he’ll appreciate the better ground. He’s won two chases and a hurdle race, all on good ground.

Coquin Mans
7g Fragrant Mix – Quissisia Mans
Creighton Family
RPR 159h OR 154h
A Grade 2 hurdle winner over 2m4f on heavy ground, he’s going over fences. He has schooled well and is ready for action.

Cut The Mustard
7m Al Namix-Tadorna
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 136h OR 133h
Although she managed to win only once over hurdles, she had some decent placed form. We’ve yet to decide whether to keep her hurdling or send her over fences.

Dandy Mag
6g Special Kaldoun – Naiade Mag
Grant Mercer & Mrs Caren Walsh
RPR 134c 139h, OR 139h
He won well on his chasing debut at Galway but hasn’t jumped well since and after his performance at Punchestown yesterday it looks as if chasing isn’t really for him. The likelihood is that he’ll revert to hurdles.

4f Saint Des Saints – Orcantara
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 113h
A nice filly who was placed on her two starts over hurdles in France. She’s entered up this week and will be running mainly in mares’ races.

Dorrells Pierji
6g Coastal Path – Playa Pierji
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 140h OR 139h
He’s won a point-to-point, two bumpers and two hurdle races, and will start off over fences in the coming weeks. He looks like one for the staying division.

Star quality

9g Walk In The Park – Star Face
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 178c OR 167c
We didn’t know what to expect when he went for the Clonmel Oil Chase on Thursday considering how long he had been off the track, so we were absolutely delighted to see him win so well. Plans will depend on how he comes out of the race, but it was a very encouraging effort. He might not quite attain the heights he scaled in the past but on Thursday’s evidence there should be more good days to come if he stays right. He’s in the John Durkan and the King George, and will have other entries over Christmas. Whether we stick to 2m4f, try him over 3m or go back to 2m is very much up in the air.

Douvan and Paul Townend blunder the last when winning the Clonmel Oil Chase (Grade 2).
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 14.11.2019

Duc Des Genievres
6g Buck’s Boum – Lobelie
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 166c OR 162c
He was very impressive at Cheltenham in March when winning the Arkle by 13 lengths before finding Chacun Pour Soi too good at the Punchestown festival. He started off in the Fortria Chase at Navan this month and, while he was a bit disappointing and got tired, he probably needed the run, as has been the case with some of ours first time out this season. He’s in the John Durkan at Punchestown next month, but we might wait for the Grade 1 two-miler at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Easy Game
5g Barastraight – Rule Of The Game
Wicklow Bloodstock (Ireland) Ltd
RPR 145h OR 142h
He won four hurdle races last season, including a Grade 3 and a Grade 2, and ran quite well at Fairyhouse last week when he was outclassed in second behind the useful Honeysuckle. He should be able to win over fences but might prefer better ground.

Echoes In Rain
3f Authorized – Amarantine
Barnane Stud
14/831 (Flat)
She won a couple of times on the Flat in France and was bought mainly with next year in mind. She’s big but light framed and will need to mature. We might run her in a Graded hurdle to see what we have and decide then whether to go on with her this season or wait longer.

Egality Mans
5g Network – Quissisia Mans
Mrs J Donnelly
RPR 118b
He won a point-to-point and was beaten a neck in a bumper at Sligo in April. The plan is to go novice hurdling and it looks as if he’ll be one for the staying division.

Eglantine Du Seuil
5m Saddler Maker – Rixia Du Seuil
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 143h OR 139h
She gave Noel Fehily his final Cheltenham Festival win when landing the mares’ novice hurdle at 50-1. She stays hurdling and will need to improve if she is to turn into a contender for the Grade 1 mares’ race at Cheltenham this season. She needed the run when second at Punchestown on Sunday and will improve going up in trip.

Eight And Bob
6g Big Bad Bob – Mare Nostrum
Act D Wagg Syndicate
RPR 138h OR 136h
He’s done well for his owners, winning four times over hurdles and once on the Flat, and hopefully there will be more to come. He’ll be running in handicaps over 2m4f-plus.

5m Saint Des Saints – Rapide
Kenneth Alexander
RPR 137h OR 140h
She won a Listed mares’ novice by ten lengths at the Punchestown festival in May and, while we’ve thought about sending her over fences, it’s more likely she’ll stay hurdling and run in mares’ races over longer distances.

5m Montmartre – Hyde
JP McManus
RPR 142h OR 140h
She did well over hurdles last season, winning at Killarney and Punchestown, and will probably go novice chasing. I could see her getting three miles.

Elixir D’Ainay
5g Muhtathir – Perle Du Bocage
JP McManus
RPR 143h
He won well over 2m3f at Naas this month. It looked a decent maiden and the first two pulled well clear of the rest. He’s in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse next month, but I’m not yet sure about plans for him.

5g Denham Red – Olinight
Tony Bloom
RPR 112b
He won his only point-to-point but we weren’t able to get a run into him last season. He made his debut in a bumper at Navan this month and finished third after racing too freely. He’s a good sort who will improve when he learns to settle.

5g Lauro – Naltiepy
Down The Hatch Syndicate
RPR 114b
He’s run second in both bumpers and has shown plenty of promise. He’s a good mover and will be in action again around Christmas.

Fabulous Saga
7g Saint Des Saints – Fabalina
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 147h OR 145h
He’s been off the track since March 2018 having shown himself to be a smart staying novice hurdler, winning four times. He’s back and I’m really thrilled with how strong and well he is. He’s going chasing and will be one for the staying division.

Fast Buck
5g Kendargent – Juvenil Delinquent
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 141h OR 144h
Both wins were on good ground and he appeared to struggle in the testing conditions when disappointing in the For Auction Hurdle at Navan last time when his jumping lacked fluency. He probably needs better ground.

11g Germany – Miss Pickering
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 145c 177h OR 160h
We were delighted with him at Punchestown on Saturday when he made his belated debut over fences and overcame a bad mistake at the ditch turning into the back straight to win very well. It looks as if the engine that saw him do very well over hurdles, winning a stack of Grade 1s, is still there. We had toyed with the idea of going chasing with him in the past and finally decided to give it a go this season. We coudn’t have asked for a better start and, while I’m not sure where he’ll go next, the 2m4f Grade 1 novice at Limerick’s Christmas meeting will be considered. Because he’s rising 12, he’s not going to reach the heights he did over hurdles but on Saturday’s evidence he should have a successful campaign once he stays right. He was a bit stiff on Sunday morning but should be fine in a couple of days.

Ferny Hollow
4g Westerner – Mirazu
Cheveley Park Stud
1- (point-to-point)
He won his only point-to-point by 15 lengths in February for Colin Bowe and we bought him for £300,000 at Cheltenham later that month. He’s a really nice sort and will run in a bumper at Fairyhouse next month.

Five O’Clock
4g Cokoriko – Rodika
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 114h
He ran three times over hurdles at Auteuil last year and was twice placed. He’s set for a novice hurdle campaign.

Fly Smart
4g Day Flight – Abacab
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 110h
He won a 1m3f bumper and finished second on his hurdling debut at Auteuil. The form looks good and we’re looking forward to getting him started. He’s smart.

7g Creachadoir – Willamina
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
RPR 170c OR 165c
Things didn’t work out for him last season when he had a couple of hold-ups and only got to run three times. So he has to put all that behind him and hopefully he’ll show all the talent he displayed in his unbeaten novice season when he won four Grade 1s. We’re planning to go longer distances with him and he might start off in the Boomerang.ie Chase over 2m6f at Thurles on Thursday.

Footpad: set to step up in trip this season
Footpad: set to step up in trip this season
Patrick McCann

4g Authorized – Fanurio’s Angel
Luke McMahon
RPR 140h OR 140h
He’s made a good start to the season, winning three of his four starts, and the plan is to go for the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 1. Two of his wins were over 2m4½f at Galway and the second of those came in a messy race in which some of the hurdles weren’t jumped. He needs to brush up his jumping a bit, but we think he’s sharp enough for 2m.

6g Air Chief Marshal – Fulgene
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 121h
He’s been off the track for almost two years having run third in a 2m4f maiden at Leopardstown on his only start for us. A fine big horse who won twice on the Flat in France, he’s entered up this week and will be back in action very soon.

Frere Tuck
4g Secret Singer – Tete Et Corde
Cathal Hughes
A nice recruit from France who will be going novice hurdling. He won a French bumper over 1m4½f on his only start before we got him.

7g Getaway – Fern Bird
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 156c OR 151c
He seems best going right-handed and might start off in the John Durkan at Punchestown next month. He won a couple of times over hurdles there and also won a beginners’ chase at the track last year. He was much too keen when we tried him over 3m½f on his final start last season. He’ll be running over 2m and 2m4f.

6g Beat Hollow – Compelled
Stellar Football Partnership
RPR 120c 125h
He won by 17 lengths on his debut over fences at Tramore last month but was probably a bit flattered as the runner-up made a bad mistake at the last. However, chasing looks to be his game and he’s a stayer who goes on winter ground. He’s on a short break and we’ll find something for him around Christmas.

Good Thyne Tara
9m Kayf Tara – Good Thyne Mary
NG King
RPR 147h OR 145h
She did very well for us over hurdles and will be chasing this season. She jumps well and has shown herself adaptable in terms of ground. She stays well and we’ll be concentrating on mares’ chases.

Great Field
8g Great Pretender – Eaton Lass
JP McManus
RPR 170c OR 160c
He’s had his issues in the past but is a very smart two-miler when he’s right and has won five chases including a Grade 1. He might start off in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork next month.

Great White Shark
5m Le Havre – Trip To Fame
Malcolm C Denmark
RPR 137h OR 134h
She had a nice campaign on the Flat this year, winning the big amateur handicap at the Galway festival and being a bit unlucky in running in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket. She was then too free in the November Handicap at Naas. She’s won a couple of times over hurdles and I think going up in trip will suit her and see her jumping better. She’s got stronger and should improve.

5g Indian Daffodil – Janidouce
RPR 137h OR 135h
He improved hugely over the summer and won a valuable handicap at Down Royal this month. He has a very good attitude and should have no problems with fences in the future. We’ll keep him hurdling this season and probably concentrate on novice races.

Jon Snow
4g Le Havre – Saroushka
Mrs S Ricci
He won a 1m4f maiden at Maisons-Laffitte last year and is a promising type for novice hurdles. He started off over 2m at Cork on Sunday but his lack of experience found him out and his jumping over the last three hurdles let him down. He might need to go up in distance.

Star quality

7g Voix Du Nord- Vitora
Supreme Horse Racing Club, Brett T Graham & K Sharp
RPR 178c OR 177c
He was a revelation last season, winning three Grade 1s including the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup in which he beat our Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo. He’s in good shape and we’re hoping he’ll have another successful campaign, although when and where he’ll reappear will hinge on the issue involving his ownership being resolved. He was unlucky to bow out at the first fence in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and hopefully he’ll go back there in March and fare better.

Plans uncertain for triple Grade 1 winner Kemboy
Plans uncertain for triple Grade 1 winner Kemboy
Getty Images

Killultagh Vic
10g Old Vic – Killultagh Dawn
Mrs R Boyd, Mrs MJ Armstrong & JB Anderson
RPR 157h 168c OR 151h 156c
He ran well on his final start last season when making the running and finishing fourth in the 3m Grade 1 hurdle at the Punchestown festival. He’s back for another campaign and we’re thinking of starting him off in the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse on December 1. We’ll see how things go and if a nice opportunity over fences presents itself then we might go for it.

Star quality

Klassical Dream
5g Dream Well – Klassical Way
Mrs Joanne Coleman
RPR 160h OR 160h
He lost his unbeaten record  for us on Saturday when third in the Morgiana Hurdle. He was quite keen before the race and after launching himself at the first hurdle. I’d expect him to improve for the run and he’ll appreciate strongly run races. He did very well last season, winning Grade 1s at Leopardstown, the Supreme Novices’ at Cheltenham and the Herald Champion Novice at Punchestown. We decided to go the Champion Hurdle with him rather than go chasing and hopefully he’ll go there in March with strong claims. The Champion Hurdle looks quite open at this stage. I’d imagine the Grade 1 at Leopardstown on December 29 might be next for him.

4f Martaline – Shannongold
Mrs Joanne Coleman
RPR 118h
A fine big filly who ran third in her only hurdle race in France. She missed last season due to a setback but is ready to run. We think she’ll be a Graded performer and, all being well, she’ll be aimed at the mares’ novice hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Star quality

6m Spanish Moon – Lamboghina
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 160h OR 159h
A fine big mare who has always looked a chaser in the making. She won six of her seven starts over hurdles for us and her only defeat came in the Champion Hurdle when she finished fourth. She has schooled well over fences and we’re looking forward to starting her off, either in a 2m2f mares’ beginners’ chase at Thurles on Thursday or over 2m4f at Gowran on Saturday. She has the potential to make a big impact.

Laurina and Rachael Robins.
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 13.11.2019

9g Beneficial – Another Evening
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 148c OR 144c
Although he didn’t win last season, he ended the campaign with a good second in a 2m4f handicap at Punchestown and Ruby [Walsh] believes that trip suits him better than longer distances.

Lord Royal
3g Lord Du Sud – Tinoroyale
Paul Connell & Alan McGonnell
2- (Flat)
He ran second over 1m2½f in France last year and will be on our novice hurdle team.

7g Medicean – Night Teeny
Mrs J Donnelly
RPR 153c RPR 164h, OR 155h
Although he ran second in two Champion Hurdles, he never managed to win a Grade 1. He started off as a chaser at Navan this month and finished second. While he jumped well, he wasn’t as quick over the fences as the winner, Fakir D’Oudairies, a four-year-old to whom he was conceding 8lb. We think a step up in trip will suit him.

8g Walk In The Park – Phemyka
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 180c OR 171c
He delivered a career-best performance when winning the Melling Chase by 20 lengths at Aintree in April and is back for another campaign in top races from 2m to about 2m4f. He might start off in the John Durkan at Punchestown, a race he won last year, and hopefully he’ll be adding to his four Grade 1 chase wins.

Mister Blue Sky
5g Royal Applause – Mujdeya
Shanakiel Racing Syndicate
RPR 142h OR 144h
He needed the run at Fairyhouse last Tuesday when he moved into contention behind Honeysuckle before weakening to finish a remote third. I’d expect him to improve a good bit and add to last season’s two wins.

5g Stowaway – Martovic
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 131h
A point-to-point winner, he made his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse on Tuesday and, although he finished second, he never looked happy through the race. For some reason he wasn’t galloping with purpose and we think he’s a good bit better than he ran.

Mt Leinster
5g Beat Hollow – Sixhills
Roaringwater Syndicate
RPR 128b
Although he failed to win after his debut success at Ballinrobe, he ran well in subsequent bumpers. He jumps hurdles well but we’ll have to see how he copes with real winter ground and we might not see the best of him until the spring.

My Sister Sarah
5m Martaline – Reste Ren Or
Barnane Stud
RPR 137h OR 137h
Her three wins have been from 2m2f to 3m and she achieved her biggest win when landing a good 3m handicap at the Punchestown festival. We’ll probably concentrate on Graded mares’ races.

5g Presenting – Dushion
Cheveley Park Stud
RPR 133h
A ten-length winner at Tramore in April on his only start over hurdles, he is a nice type for novice chases in the staying division and has the potential to pay his way this season.

8g Mount Nelson – Serrenia
Tony Bloom
RPR 162h OR 165h
He’s working brilliantly in the build-up to the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle on December 1. He’s been off a long time and we decided that instead of keeping him solely for Cheltenham – we did that last year and he didn’t make the festival – that we’d kick on once he stays sound. We’re very happy with him.

Penhill (left): ready to return in the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse on December 1
Penhill (left): ready to return in the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse on December 1
Edward Whitaker

Pleasant Company
11g Presenting – Katie Flame
Malcolm C Denmark 
RPR 161c OR 152c
Second in the 2018 Grand National, he was in contention when blundering his way out of the race at the fourth-last this year. The National is again the aim and before that he’ll be running in long-distance chases and over hurdles.

Pont Aven
6g Doyen – Behlaya
Roderick Ryan, Thomas B Breen & MD Minch
RPR 135c OR 134c
The 3m4f trip was probably too far from him in the Cork National last time and he’ll probably run in the Troytown at Navan on Sunday. The Paddy Power at Leopardstown and the Thyestes are other big handicaps we’ll look at. Hopefully there will be a valuable one to be won with him.

Quartz Du Rheu
4g Konig Turf – Lady Akara
JP McManus
RPR 138h OR 135h
A really nice sort who ran third in the Grade 3 Fishery Lane Hurdle at Naas this month having won a couple of minor races earlier in the season. He’s in the Royal Bond next month but might go the handicap route instead.

11g Heron Island – Peggy Cullen
RA Bartlett
RPR 163c OR 159c
I’d imagine the Grand National, in which he ran third last season, will again be a target. He stays well and it’s possible we might try the cross-country route with him at some stage.

3g Mastercraftsman – Radiyya
McNeill Family
6/24122 (Flat)
He won a 1m4f maiden at Maisons-Laffitte for Alain de Royer-Dupre and also ran second in a Listed race. After being gelded he’s a bit behind most of the other hurdlers and it will be Christmas or early in the new year before he runs. He was bought with the Triumph Hurdle in mind.

Real Steel
6g Loup Breton – Kalimina
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 161c OR 160c
He won a Grade 2 very well at Down Royal this month. Those who ride him think he’s probably better going right-handed. On the evidence of his win over 2m3½f last time, going up in trip shouldn’t be an issue. He’s in the John Durkan at Punchestown and the King George, but we haven’t made a decision yet.

Rebel Og
6m Presenting – Oscar Rebel
Lions Mouth Racing Club
RPR 125h
A campaign in mares’ novice hurdles and handicaps is on the cards following her win in a 2m maiden at Thurles last month. She needs to learn to settle better.

7m Robin Des Champs – Mhuire Na Gale
Coldunell Ltd
RPR 123c OR 130c
She’s in the Troytown Chase at Navan on Sunday, but that might come a bit soon. Soft ground and plenty of distance will suit her and she’ll run in mares’ races and handicaps.

Robin De Carlow
6m Robin Des Champs – La Reine De Riogh
Supreme Horse Racing Club & Brett T Graham
RPR 142c 140h OR 137c 135h
She’s already done very well this season, winning three chases, and trips from 2m4f to 3m suit her well. She probably prefers goodish ground rather than real winter conditions.

Robin Des Foret
9g Robin Des Pres – Omyn Supreme
Byerley Racing Syndicate
RPR 151c OR 146c
He has done well in winning five hurdle races and three chases. A trip of 2m4f seems to suit him well over fences. He’s entered at Thurles on Thursday, but there’s a race over 2m4 for him at Cheltenham next month. He’s won on most types of ground.

Royal Rendezvous
7g King’s Theatre – Novacella
Dr SP Fitzgerald
RPR 140h
He won two bumpers as well as a maiden hurdle by 16 lengths last season before running far too freely and being pulled up in a 2m4f Grade 1 at the Punchestown festival. He did win a point-to-point and will be running over fences in the not-too-distant future, probably over 2m or 2m2f.

5g Youmzain – Spasha
Sullivan Bloodstock Ltd
RPR 148h OR 147h
He won an amateur riders’ Flat race at Listowel in September and then ran too keenly in the Irish Cesarewitch and the Naas November Handicap. He’s a dual winner over hurdles and won a Grade 2 as a juvenile at Fairyhouse. He’ll be campaigned in staying novice hurdles.

5g Soldier Hollow – Salve Evita
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 160h OR 156h
We were delighted with his Morgiana Hurdle win on Saturday which confirmed that he is a genuine Grade 1 horse. He won a Grade 1 as a juvenile and what told us there would be more to come was his performance at Naas a year ago when he fell at the last when battling it out with subsequent Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D’Allen at the last. He shattered his nose in the fall and the decision to allow nature do the healing rather than having surgery has paid off. I’m not sure about plans but there a number of races to consider.

Saldier and Danny Mullins jumps the last flight when winning the Morgiana Hurdle.
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 16.11.2019

6m Kingsalsa – Kendoretta
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 142h OR 135h
She won a couple of times over hurdles and goes chasing. She’ll be aimed at mares’ novice chases and is the sort who should do well in those races.

5g Dalakhani – Tiyi
Miss MA Masterson
RPR 144c 144h OR 145h
A bit of an in-and-out performer, he was quite impressive when making most for a wide-margin win on his second start over fences at Galway last month but was let down by his jumping when disappointing in a Grade 3 at Tipperary. He disappointed again in the Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Punchestown yesterday and we’ll probably go back hurdling with him.

6g Doctor Dino – Saaryeh
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 168h OR 163h
He had a busy time of it last season and did very well, winning the Galway Hurdle and a couple of Grade 1s – the Morgiana at Punchestown and the Ryanair at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting. I was a bit disappointed with him in the Morgiana on Saturday when he was having his first start since being brought down at the third in the Champion Hurdle. But it’s early days and hopefully we’ll see the real Sharjah as the season goes on. We’ll find a target for him over Christmas.

Stones And Roses
5g Shantou – Compelled
P Reilly & C Reilly
RPR 126c
He won well over 2m5f on his second start over fences at Cork yesterday and gave the impression that longer trips will suit. He could be a Grand National horse in a few years’ time.

Stormy Ireland
5m Motivator – Like A Storm
Sullivan Bloodstock Limited
RPR 147h OR 147h
She brought her score over hurdles to four this weekend when landing the Listed Grabel Mares’ Hurdle for the second consecutive year. She lacks size but she’s a super jumper who has schooled very well over fences, which was evident at the weekend, especially at the final hurdle. She was placed in a couple of Grade 1 mares’ races last season and, depending on what her owner wants to do, she’s ready to go novice chasing.

Tactical Move
5g Stowaway – Denwoman
Mrs J Donnelly
RPR 125b
Second in a point-to-point, he also ran second on his debut at the Punchestown festival and will be going over hurdles following his bumper win at Clonmel on Thursday. His future will be as a chaser but he should do well as a novice hurdler this season.

The Big Getaway
5g Getaway – Saddlers Dawn
Mrs J Donnelly
RPR 134b
He’s as big a horse as I’ve trained, already a point-to-point winner and a real chaser in the making. He had a small setback after running in his second bumper but he’s come back fine and won a bumper impressively by seven lengths at Punchestown on Saturday. He’ll run next in a maiden hurdle. He keeps galloping and will like a trip and testing ground.

Tiger Tap Tap
4g Jukebox Jury – Tomato Finish
Mrs S Ricci
RPR 135h
He ran as if he needed the race in a Grade 3 at Naas this month and will improve. He hasn’t yet won over hurdles and we’ll probably go for a maiden next time and take it from there. He’s got a nice bit of ability.

Tornado Flyer
6g Flemensfirth – Mucho Macabi
TFP Partnership 
RPR 143c
He won the Grade 1 bumper at the Punchestown festival in 2018 but had a limited campaign last season, failing to win in two starts after scoring on his hurdling debut. We always felt that chasing would be his game and he started off with a win at Naas this month. He should progress and do well in good races. He’s in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse on December 1, but I’d say it’s more likely we’ll wait for the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Total Recall
10g Westerner – August Weekend
Slaneyville Syndicate
RPR 159c 143h OR 151c 146h
He hasn’t won a chase since landing the Ladbrokes Trophy two years ago and is quite a difficult horse to find suitable races for. I’d imagine we’ll be looking at Grade 2 and Grade 3 races and maybe some handicaps. It’s also possible we’ll give him a few runs over hurdles.

Star quality

Un De Sceaux
11g Denham Red – Hotesse De Sceaux
Edward O’Connell
RPR 174c OR 171c
What an amazing horse. Although he’s rising 12 you’d never know it. He’s as enthusiastic as he’s ever been throughout his hugely successful career. He recorded his tenth Grade 1 win when landing the BoyleSports Champion Chase at the Punchestown festival for the second consecutive year and we’re looking at starting him off in the Tingle Creek, a race he won three years ago and finished second in a year ago. He loves dig in the ground and because conditions weren’t right last season he had a limited campaign.

5g Anzillero – Eaton Lass
J P McManus
RPR 114h
A half-brother to Grade 1 winning chaser Great Field, he finished third over 2m2f at Auteuil on his only start in France two years ago. A fine type, he’s entered this week and is ready for action.

Voix Du Reve
7g Voix Du Nord – Pommbelle
Andrea & Graham Wylie
RPR 159c OR 158c
He had his big day last season when winning the Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup over 2m4f at Fairyhouse. That was his third win over fences and the plan is to step up in trip this season. Just where he’ll start off has yet to be decided.

Yorkhill has dropped in the ratings and is a possible for the Ladbrokes Trophy
Yorkhill has dropped in the ratings and is a possible for the Ladbrokes Trophy
Patrick McCann

9g Presenting – Lightning Breeze
Andrea & Graham Wylie
RPR 166c OR 152c
To say he has been frustrating in recent seasons would be a huge understatement but we’ve managed to win a race this season. There were a few scary moments when he won at Galway but that was hardly surprising as he was racing right-handed which doesn’t suit him at all. He has dropped in the ratings and hopefully there will be another race or two to be won with him. He’s in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury, which is left-handed, but we haven’t decided if he will travel.

5g Galileo – Jacqueline
Dreaming Cups Syndicate
RPR 104h
He won two races for John Gosden and is owned by an Aussie syndicate who should have some good fun with him. He started off over hurdles at Down Royal this month and ran quite well in the maiden won by Envoi Allen. He needed the run and will improve. He’ll be mixing it between hurdles and the Flat.

5m Court Cave – Park Athlete
Blue Blood Racing Club
RPR 119h
She’s won a bumper and two 3m hurdles and as that would suggest she is all about stamina. She will be campaigned in more long-distance hurdles.

Two for the tracker

“Two French imports Lamarckise, who will be running mainly in mares’ races, and another four-year-old Fly Smart are a pair we’re looking forward to campaigning in novice hurdles.”

Race in focus

“We’ve had many horses run well in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, but we’ve never managed to win it. Obviously we’re keen to fill that void and, with Chacun Pour Soi, Douvan and Cilaos Emery all potential contenders, maybe our turn will come in 2020.”

Expert view

Willie Mullins has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal this term, with apparent strength in depth in almost every division. The easier ground this season compared to last term has allowed the champion trainer to get some of his talented prospects on the track earlier, which bodes well for the major spring festivals.

End-of-season form isn’t always replicated the following term and with that in mind it could be dangerous to assume Al Boum Photo is an inferior performer to stablemate Kemboy on the basis of their Punchestown Gold Cup running. The Cheltenham hero was likely over the top on that occasion and shouldn’t be underestimated if they clash again.

Douvan’s excellent return to action at Clonmel gives the Closutton team another high-class bullet to fire in the 2m chasing division, but in terms of potential for improvement Chacun Pour Soi makes a strong level of appeal as one with real star quality. If Altior passes up the opportunity to attempt a third Queen Mother Champion Chase, he is the leading contender to provide Mullins with a first victory in that Grade 1.

Saldier confirmed himself to be a genuine Grade 1 performer on Saturday at Punchestown, but the team will surely have been disappointed by Klassical Dream’s flat showing. He needs to settle better but showed that is possible when winning the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle last season. 

Mullins has a team of novice chasers to die for and getting to see Laurina over fences will be hugely exciting. Don’t be surprised to see Melon improve plenty when stepping up to 2m4f, having been beaten by Fakir D’Oudairies at Navan this month over shorter. Bapaume jumped excellently before failing to see out the trip at Fairyhouse last week and could be an effective novice chaser over close to the minimum trip this season.

Janidil went up 10lb for his smart Down Royal success in a valuable handicap but a mark of 135 still looks workable as a fairly unexposed five-year-old. He has the makings of a smart sort who can pick up another good pot before the campaign is out.

Saturday’s Punchestown bumper winner The Big Getaway should win plenty of races over hurdles and will be one to really look forward to over fences in time, while the trainer’s comments about new recruit Lamarckise suggest she could be a filly worth following in mares’ novice events. 

Ferny Hollow, a £300,000 purchase after winning his point-to-point readily at Knockanard in February, could be a useful bumper performer and it’s interesting to note that he appears set to carry the colours of Cheveley Park Stud, owners of last season’s Champion Bumper scorer Envoi Allen.

Willie Mullins Stable Tour 2019/20
5 (100%) 1 vote
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