Willie Mullins has his usual wealth of talent to look forward to as he chases a 13th leading trainer title. The Closutton handler has a yard packed to the rafters with potential champions and here he outlines plans for a number of names away from the likes of Faugheen, Footpad and Un De Sceaux:
“I feel I have to go back chasing with him. We can always go back hurdling if things don’t work out. I think he deserves another chance chasing.”
“He will definitely be going over fences. He looks every inch a chaser.”
“He will go chasing, too. He has matured hugely and I’m looking forward to him going over fences.”
“I have a Champion Hurdle sort of career marked out for him down the line, but I’m not sure whether he will do it this season or not. We might try different races and different trips for him this term.
“If he is good enough he will get an entry in the Champion Hurdle. We think he is a really nice horse, but maybe in a year’s time he will be better able for that race. We might just have intermediate races for him in the meantime.”
“Initially after Punchestown I thought, ‘I am going to stay hurdling with him’, but we schooled him over fences the other day and he was very, very good. So we are going to go chasing with him.”
“We will plan the same sort of route as Saldier. He is not a chasing type, so he will stay hurdling, and will probably be a staying hurdler in time.”
“He is very sharp and very good. I’m hoping he will be good enough for the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse. We will take it from there and hopefully he will be able to go down that two-mile novice route.”
“His point-to-point and bumper runs made a huge difference at Galway, as he was very experienced horse in a race like that. He wants two and a half miles plus, and he can go out to three miles. Staying novice hurdles are the route for him.”
“He looked very, very good at the weekend. I know he got beaten in a bumper at Galway, but I just thought we ran him in the wrong bumper there. He has settled in over hurdles and is another one that will be going for the Royal Bond.
“I always thought with his pedigree that he was going to be a staying novice hurdler, but what he showed me the other day is that he has plenty of speed. His temperament probably means that two miles is probably plenty for him at this stage.
“Until he learns to relax more in his races, I would think we will stick to the minimum trip.”
Mister Blue Sky
“He impressed me hugely at Wexford. For a four-year-old coming off the Flat to jump the way he did and to race the way he did, I think this fellow is top notch.”
“Every day of the week he is going to be a stayer. He is a chaser and will be a staying novice hurdler for this season.”
“He can go up to two and a half miles, and if he is good enough to be a Ballymore horse, he can go to two-mile-five. He should be good enough for that. He has the speed to be a two-mile novice hurdler, but we will see when he goes jumping what he is able to do.”
“He is a horse we have huge time for and watching him go around there, he has a huge stride. He will go the same route as we tried to go with him last year. I don’t have any idea where he will start off until this weather changes. I want wet ground for him before he starts off.”
“He looks every inch a chaser. He looks like a staying novice chaser, or hurdler for this year. However, he is by Stowaway and his racing attitude means he will be probably be better off over two miles for the time being.”
“Looking at her around here, she never impresses. I’d imagine she is going to be a staying novice hurdler. I’d imagine if she is good enough we might aim her at the Grade One mares’ hurdle at Fairyhouse at Easter over two and a half miles.”
“He is doing great work at home here and looks a really nice bumper horse. He looks really good and we are going down the bumper route with him.”
“She looked very good when she won. I know she got beaten at Killarney, but Patrick (Mullins) blamed himself for that day. We think she is very good and we will try to stick to those mares’ bumpers with her.”
“Cadmium is good. I think there is a novice chase coming up for him at Punchestown, so Ruby (Walsh) and David (Mullins) were telling me the other morning. We will keep upping him in grade, if he is able for it.”
“He is with a girl who does work with him and he is scheduled to be back around Christmas time.”