We face an uphill struggle for title, says Mullins

Un De Sceaux

Un De Sceaux is among Mullins’ team of horses at Sandown on Saturday

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

WILLIE MULLINS believes he could have to win as many as four races at Sandown today, including one of either the bet365 Gold Cup or bet365 Celebration Chase, if he is to complete his quest to become Britain’s champion trainer.

Mullins boasts £2,275,659 prize money but trails reigning champion Paul Nicholls by £53,593.

He has sent a strong battalion of horses to Sandown this afternoon, including Vroum Vroum Mag and Un De Sceaux, as he bids to overhaul Nicholls’ lead, but is realistic about his chances of doing so.

Writing in his column in today’s Racing Post, Mullins said: “Paul Nicholls goes into the meeting firmly in the driving seat to retain the title.

“The ball hasn’t bounced our way in terms of prize money in the past week or so and we’re seriously up against it, but we’re giving it our best shot and we’re hoping for a big day.

“We have ten runners at Sandown but looking at the situation realistically, we’re going to have to win one of the big chases and we’ll probably need to win another two or three other races on the card if our quest is to be successful.”

Tough task for Un De Sceaux

Un De Sceaux is set to take on Sprinter Sacre once again in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase, after Nicky Henderson’s veteran star got the better of him in an unforgettable Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham last month.

Mullins believes the outcome of today’s race will be greatly impacted by that Festival clash and said: “It’s going to be tough for Un De Sceaux, taking on Sprinter Sacre who beat him comprehensively in the Champion Chase last month.

“While it can by no means be considered a two-horse race a lot will probably depend on whether our horse or Sprinter Sacre, who returned to near his brilliant best last time, came out of Cheltenham the better.

“Un De Sceaux appears to have taken the race well and, while he has it all to do on festival form, he’s quite fresh and we decided to give him a shot at turning over Sprinter Sacre this time.”

Read Willie Mullins’ full thoughts on a vital day of action at Sandown only in Saturday’s Racing Post


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