Willie Mullins is responsible for half of the 20-strong field when he goes all out to win the feature Daragh Fitzpatrick & Colm White Local Bookmakers November Handicap as the curtain comes down on the Irish turf season at Naas on Sunday.
Among the 10 for Ireland’s champion jumps trainer are the top six in the weights – Limini, Whiskey Sour, Stratum, Uradel, Chelkar and Pakora.
Nessun Dorma, Exchange Rate, Makitorix and Pleasure Dome complete the Closutton stable’s challenge.
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, gave his verdict on each one.
“Limini, with top weight, it’s going to be difficult, so we’ve decided to claim 10lb off her to try to help her. She won a very similar race in Leopardstown, so the 10lb should swing things in her favour,” he said.
“Whiskey Sour, likewise, top weight, so we’re claiming 7lb off him. He looked a little exposed in his last few runs so we’re claiming to try to get him competitive again.
“Stratum hasn’t had an awful lot of luck in his last few runs. Obviously, the Ebor didn’t go to plan and he was below par in the Cesarewitch.
“This is probably a slight drop in class for him and we’ve got last year’s champion jockey Colin Keane on him, so he’s probably one of our better chances.
“Uradel ran a fantastic race in the Cesarewitch. He’s coming back in trip, but I can’t see that being a problem because he showed an awful lot of speed when he won in Galway over two miles.
“Chelkar has disappointed us in his last few runs, but his work lately has been an awful lot better and we’re expecting him to run above his last few runs. He’s better than his latest form and hopefully he can show his true self.
“Pakora’s win in Galway was very good. It is her first run on the Flat for us and she could be one of the most unexposed horses in the race.
“Nessun Dorma won a premier handicap at Galway over a mile and a half. He ran very well over two miles in the Irish Cesarewitch. He’s going to need to improve again but we expect him to pick up some more prize money.
“Exchange Rate was just touched off in a premier handicap at Killarney and ran well in the Irish Cesarewitch. Coming back two furlongs won’t inconvenience him. He’s got a lot of speed.
“He’s near the bottom of the weights which is a big help to him because he’s the smallest of all our horses in the race.
“Makitorix’s form on the track does not line up with his work at home. We’re hoping he can recapture his best form, but he’s just been disappointing.
“The last one is Pleasure Dome, who is having her first run on the Flat for us. She could be unexposed and is at the bottom of the weights. I think she has to have a big chance.”
Riven Light will try to put an unsuccessful trip to South Korea behind him in the Finale Stakes, but Mullins feels the trip might be further than his optimum.
“We took a chance and rolled the dice on Seoul, but it didn’t come off,” he said.
“It’s a very unique track. He didn’t handle it, but he came home from it fine and his work has been very good.
“I’m not convinced a mile and a half is his best trip. A lot of his best form is over a mile, but he does look well in at the ratings and there are very few options for him left, so we thought we’d take our chance here.”
The Mullins team have also declared Law Girl who was sixth in a Listed contest at Lingfield on Thursday.
“She ran well. Again there are limited options for her,” said Mullins jnr.
“She seems fine at the moment and as long as she stays like that she’ll take her chance.”