Reigning amateur Champion Jockey Patrick Mullins gives us his thoughts on the best Willie Mullins’ trained runners throughout the week at Leopardstown and Limerick. Be sure to check in each day to find out about the horses that the Champion Trainer sends to the track.
Leopardstown 26th December
12.15 – Horse & Jockey Hotel M’dn H’dle 2m
Bunk Off Early is the first runner of the week for the yard. He won over 1 mile on the flat, he shows a lot of speed at home and he has a few gears. He has won a schooling hurdle and we’re happy with how he works and jumps so we’re expecting a big run from him. This is a hot race however and Joseph O’ Brien’s horse Imperial Way is a horse that we used to have in the yard. We know he’s a good horse and Bunk Off Early will have to be good on the day to beat him. Our horse was good on the flat however and shows a good turn of foot so he should go well.
12.45 Thorntons Recycling M’dn H’dle 2m 2f
We send Castello Sforza for this race. He’s a very talented horse and ran a cracker in the Cheltenham bumper in March. He can be hard to get right though and can be lazy at home where he doesn’t show a lot. Because he’s quite lazy at home, he should come on for his last run so I would expect a big improvement from him. The Gigginstown horse Barra is a danger in the race but I do think Castello Sforza is a good horse, it won’t be easy but hopefully he’s up to the task.
Winning The Tattersalls Ireland George Mernagh Memorial Sales Bumper With Castello Sforza
1.15 Knight Frank Juvenile H’dle (Grade 2) 2m
Bapaume ran a blinder in Fairyhouse last time out. He met the last hurdle wrong but still may not have beaten Landofhopeandglory. Bapaume will come on for the run however as it was his debut on the track and I would like to think he could reverse the form with Joseph O’Brien’s horse. I would be hoping that he can and he should come on for the run so hopefully he can go one better and get his head in front.
2.20 Racing Post Novice S’Chase (Grade 1) 2m 1f
We send Min for this race and he takes on Identity Thief. Min put in a very slick performance in Navan and jumped well. He’s a tall, leggy horse so I think chasing will bring out the best in him even though he was very good over hurdles. I do think he has a job on his hands to beat Identity Thief. He probably achieved more over hurdles than Min and he also has an extra run over fences under his belt so I do think Identity Thief will be difficult to peg back in this race but I think further down the line Min could improve a bit more, but in this race I do think Identity Thief will take a bit of beating.
Limerick 26th December
3.40 Lyons of Limerick (Mares) INH Flat Race 2m
I go to Limerick for the ride on Miss Sapphire. She’s a Flemensfirth mare, she’s lazy at home but I think being lazy on heavy ground in Limerick will be in her favour as she will be conserving all her energy going around. Good To Flow trained by Pat Fahy is a big danger but I would be expecting my horse to be bang there at the finish.
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