He has already amassed 54 Cheltenham Festival winners over the years but Willie Mullins is by no means a certainty to scoop another Cheltenham top-trainer title when he sends over his battalions to the Cotswolds in 2 weeks time.
With doubts over Douvan and Faugheen even making it to the ferry, Mullins will be looking towards the new kids on the block, such as Laurina, Footpad and Getabird to fly the County Carlow flag.
Amazingly the Cheltenham Gold Cup is one of the biggest prizes in racing that has eluded Mullins. Six Gold Cup seconds leave him still without the blue riband to his name but he will hoping to right that wrong with either Killultagh Vic, Djakadam, Total Recall and Bachasson being his leading lights.
A list of 40 horses has been drawn up by Mullins. Here are some of the principals:
- Getabird (Supreme Novices’)
- Footpad (Arkle Trophy)
- Melon (Champion Hurdle)
- Yorkhill (Champion Hurdle or Ryanair Chase)
- Vroum Vroum Mag (Mares’ Hurdle)
- Rathvinden (National Hunt Chase, RSA or JLT)
- Al Boum Photo (RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase or JLT Novices’ Chase)
- Min (Champion Chase)