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Willie Mullins' Cheltenham Festival runners

With a record 94 Cheltenham Festival winners, Willie Mullins will be hoping to hit the century mark at the 2024 spectacle in March.

The Irish supremo has a number of leading candidates for the event at Prestbury Park and we have taken a look at some of the biggest names he will be taking to the Cotswolds.

Ballyburn

One of the major questions heading into the week was what race Ballyburn would run in and Willie Mullins has since confirmed the potential star will run in the Gallagher Novices' Hurdle.

The six-year-old recorded a sublime seven-length victory at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown in February, leaving the likes of Slade Steel and Kingsfield behind, and a similar display should get the job done at Prestbury Park.

Ballyburn is the 4/7 favourite in the NRNB market.

Horse Racing


Tullyhill

A Mullins runner declared for the Supreme is Tullyhill, who has given ante-post punters something to think about following his heavy-ground Listed win at Punchestown on 18th February.

The six-year-old won by nine lengths from the highly regarded No Flies On Him and Mullins revealed after the race that the performance was good enough to suggest he will go for the curtain-raiser at Cheltenham.

Tullyhill is priced at 3/1 favourite to claim the spoils, with stablemate Mystical Power available at 7/2.

Il Etait Temps

Of the three Arkle Chase runners for Mullins, the best chance of success looks to be in the shape of Il Etait Temps, who won the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival last time out.

Having twice ran with credit at the Cheltenham Festival, connections are feeling optimistic about the six-year-old's chances of claiming the spoils at Prestbury Park.

State Man

State Man finished second in the 2023 Champion Hurdle, finding only Constitution Hill too good that day, and the duo are set to renew their rivalry in the 2024 edition at Cheltenham.

The seven-year-old has chalked up four victories in a row since that runners-up finish, triumphing twice at both Punchestown and Leopardstown, with the most recent victory coming in the Irish Champion Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival.

With Constitution Hill not running this year, State Man is the 1/3 favourite to take the Champion Hurdle crown.

Lossiemouth

One of Mullins' biggest favourites of the Festival is Lossiemouth in the Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle, with the grey mare 4/7 to take the spoils in that race.

The five-year-old won the JCB Triumph Hurdle last year and she followed that up with a victory at Punchestown, before returning to Prestbury Park in January to romp home by nearly 10 lengths in The International Hurdle.

Ile Atlantique

The Gallagher Novices' Hurdle is an interesting race for Mullins, as he has Ballyburn leading the betting.

Another leading contender for the Irish maestro is Ile Atlantique, who recorded a 19-length victory at Gowran Park in November last year before being edged out by a neck on latest appearance at Naas in January.

There is plenty to like about the six-year-old's chances and a strong showing could be on the cards at Cheltenham in what would be a first run outside of Ireland since joining the Mullins yard.

El Fabiolo

Another heavy Festival favourite for Mullins is El Fabiolo, who produced a stellar effort when winning the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase last year by five-and-a-half lengths from Jonbon.

Convincing wins at Punchestown, Cork and Leopardstown have followed since, including in the Grade 1 Dublin Chase last time out.

It would be a huge shock if the seven-year-old doesn't extend his winning streak in the Champion Chase, which he is the 4/9 favourite for.

Galopin Des Champs

The pinnacle of the Cheltenham Festival is the Gold Cup and Mullins has the reigning champion entered into the race once again, with Galopin Des Champs the 11/8 favourite to defend his crown.

Mullins' charge finished second and third at Punchestown in the next two runs, both behind Fastorslow, but he roared back to winning ways with a 23-length success at Leopardstown in December.

Galopin Des Champs then managed to get revenge on Fastorslow at the Dublin Racing Festival in February when landing the Irish Gold Cup Chase, and connections are confident the eight-year-old can successfully defend his Gold Cup crown.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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