Noble Yeats blossoming under trainer Emmett Mullins as Grand National hero seeks to land the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival

  • Noble Yeats warmed-up for the Festival by landing the Cleeve Hurdle in January
  • His win at Cheltenham in January ended a sequence of five consecutive defeats 

Noble Yeats, the 2022 Grand National winner, is blossoming at the right time as he attempts to enhance his glittering c.v. in the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Trained by Emmett Mullins, Noble Yeats stamped himself as an ideal candidate for the long-distance hurdling championship when landing the prestigious Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham Trials Day on January 27, ridden by Harry Cobden.

Mullins, the nephew of Willie and based across the road from his all-conquering uncle in County Carlow, only has 35 horses in his yard but his runners demand huge respect wherever they turn up and he will have a number of chances at Cheltenham next week.

Corbetts Cross will contest the National Hunt Chase, while Its On The Line is being readied for a tilt at the Hunters’ Chase.

The star of the show, though, is Noble Yeats with owner Robert Waley-Cohen amazed at how Mullins has got him sparkling again.

Noble Yeats warmed-up for the Festival by landing the prestigious Cleeve Hurdle in January

Noble Yeats warmed-up for the Festival by landing the prestigious Cleeve Hurdle in January

Noble Yeats’ win at Cheltenham six weeks ago ended a sequence of five consecutive defeats, dating back to December 2022, but Mullins is confident he has the nine-year-old where he wants him as he prepares to tackle Teahupoo, who heads the market, and leading British hope Crambo.

Mullins explained: ‘I said to Robert, “We’d need to be winning this if we are going to be thinking about the Stayers’ Hurdle”. I was hoping he’d win. He hasn’t missed many engagements, has he? He always turns up. Fourth in the Gold Cup last year, fourth in the Grand National. He even picked up a cheque when we went to Paris for the Grand Steeple-chase De Paris last May. It shows his versatility.

‘He’s got great enthusiasm for the game. He has a habit of getting out of his ground and, since the Cleeve, we have been playing with different things and ideas.

‘He wants extreme tests of stamina. We thought he was a mudlark at first. Somehow we forgot along the way that he had won a Grand National on good ground and finished fourth in a Gold Cup on good ground! All his form shows he’s a horse for the spring festivals.’

Of his team, he added: ‘I’m happy enough. They are running plenty, they are fit enough. I’ll have four or five, four with good chances. We’ll have Corbetts Cross, Its On The Line, Noble Yeats and something for the handicap.’

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