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Top Novices' Hurdle odds: Mullins eyes success with Mystical Power

This race was first run in 1976 and trainer Willie Mullins is seeking his first success, with Mystical Power expected to go off the favourite for the 2024 edition.

The hurdle contest is run on the second day of the Aintree Festival, over a distance of two miles and half-a-furlong and with nine obstacles to be cleared.

Mullins has two runners in this year’s field and appears to have a good chance of collecting the £56,270 first-place prize on offer, in this Grade 1 contest.

Top Novices' Hurdle contenders

Mystical Power

After claiming a National Hunt flat race at Ballinrobe in May 2023 on his track debut, Mystical Power followed that up with a hurdle success at Galway two months later.

Sent off the 5/4 favourite, the five-year-old then secured a victory in the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in January this year – beating Jigoro by seven-lengths.

The Mullins runner then headed to the Cheltenham Festival in March, taking his place in the field for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Mystical Power led going over the last and then had a battle up the hill with Slade Steel, but Henry De Bromhead’s charge eventually came out on top by one-and-a-half lengths. He’ll be eyeing some Grade 1 compensation now. 


This six-year-old finished third in the Supreme Novices’, behind Mystical Power, but will feel he can get back to winning ways at Aintree.

After back-to-back National Hunt flat race victories, Firefox won at Fairyhouse on his hurdle debut in December – beating subsequent Cheltenham Festival scorer Ballyburn by two-and-a-half lengths.

The Gordon Elliott-runner was fourth of seven in a Grade 1 hurdle at Naas in January, before his run at the Cheltenham Festival last month.

Dysart Enos

This talented mare has previous track experience, winning a Grade 2 bumper at Aintree 12 months ago.

The Fergal O’Brien-charge has won all three of her hurdle races to date, starting with a seven-and-a-half length success at Huntingdon in November.

Dysart Enos then won on a soft ground at Cheltenham in December, before heading to Doncaster for her last competitive outing in January. On that occasion, the six-year-old wasn’t fluent but went clear on the run-in to claim a seven-length victory over Justus.

She beat Golden Ace by nine-lengths here last season and, with that rival impressing in the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last month, they could both be big players getting 7lb from the geldings now. 


Willie Mullins’ second runner in the field is set to be ridden by Paul Townend for the first time.

The five-year-old joined the Mullins stable in November last year and won on the first appearance after that switch.

Mistergif travelled well throughout at Limerick in heavy conditions in January and eventually romped to an 18-length success over Ballycallan King.

This is another horse in this race that ran in the Supreme Novices’, finishing fifth and seven-and-a-half lengths behind winner Slade Steel.

Golden Ace

Trained by Jeremy Scott, Golden Ace is unbeaten over hurdles heading to Aintree, with three wins out of three.

The six-year-old finished second to Dysart Enos in a bumper at the Liverpool track last year, but has gone from strength-to-strength following wind surgery.

Following back-to-back victories at Taunton, Golden Ace stepped up a level to win the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham – beating the heavily-touted Brighterdaysahead by one-and-three-quarter lengths. Like Dysart Enos, she gets 7lb from the boys today. 

Lump Sum

Another Grade 2 winner, Lump Sum has claimed victory in three of his four starts so far over hurdles.

The six-year-old is an improving sort and heads to Aintree after connections decided to skip Cheltenham.

Lump Sum will be looking for back-to-back victories, after a two-mile Grade 2 success at Kempton in February, when beating Fiercely Proud by four-and-a-half lengths.


This seven-year-old had been very consistent prior to a disappointing run at Newbury last time out, when finishing 16th of 21 runners on heavy ground.

Another runner with Aintree experience, Lookaway has finished in the top three in six of his nine races over hurdles.

Trained by Neil King, Lookaway will have Jack Quinlan in the saddle – he has won three previous races when partnering this gelding.

Personal Ambition

The outsider in the field, Ben Pauling’s charge does come into this race off the back of a Grade 2 success at Kelso last month in the bet365 Premier Novices' Hurdle.

Personal Ambition squeezed home then by half-a-length to Jango Baie and this is likely to be a much stiffer test.

The five-year-old has won three of his four starts over hurdles, but this looks a big ask to add another victory to the collection.

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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