Willie Mullins insists he’s relaxed about making history at Cheltenham as legendary trainer nears 100-winner milestone at the Festival

Willie Mullins says he is relaxed about the prospect of making history at Cheltenham when the festival gets underway on Tuesday.

The Irish trainer needs just six more race wins this week to reach the 100-winner milestone at the Old Course.

‘It’s not something I think anyone in racing ever thought of so I don’t know,’ he said.

‘We’ve gone one or two days without a winner at Cheltenham and no-one is gifted winners at Cheltenham. 

‘It’s only when you go back every year – you sort of forget how hard it is to win there.’

Willie Mullins needs just six more wins to make it 100 winners at Cheltenham

Willie Mullins needs just six more wins to make it 100 winners at Cheltenham  

State Man is a 4-11 favourite to win the Champions Hurdle on Day 1 at Cheltenham

State Man is a 4-11 favourite to win the Champions Hurdle on Day 1 at Cheltenham

Alongside his top rider Paul Townend, Mullins trained six winners in 2023 and he has 20 runners on the first day of the festival alone.

Mullins’ entries on Tuesday include a bevy of favourites, with the likes of 3-1 Tullyhill and 4-11 State Man the shortest odds in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at 1:30pm and the Champions Hurdle at 3:30pm.

At 6-1, Meetingofthewaters is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the Ultima Handicap Chase at 2:50pm, while 7-4 Gaelic Warriors and 11-2 Il Etait Temps are the horses to beat in the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase at 2:10pm.

With 94 wins, Mullins has 21 more victories than his closest challenger Nicky Henderson and conceded the expectations of delivering continued success was hard to avoid.

‘It’s the same apprehension. Will we get a winner? Is this the year we have a blowout?,’ he told The Guardian.

‘Last year we had six winners and some people were disappointed because they thought we’d break our hundred with a dozen winners. 

‘We managed to win the Gold Cup and Champion Chase but the expectation is so heavy. 


Odds courtesy of Paddy Power

1.30 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – Tullyhill 3/1 Mystical Power 10/3 Slade Steel 9/2 Firefox 6/1 Jeriko Du Reponet 8/1 Mistergif 10/1 Asian Master 16/1 Tellherthename 22/1 Favour And Fortune 25/1 Supersundae 33/1 Gold Dancer 40/1 Kings Hill 80/1

2.10 – Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase – Gaelic Warrior 7/4 Il Etait Temps 11/2 Quilixios 7/1 Found A Fifty 8/1 Hunters Yarn 8/1 JPR One 9/1 My Mate Mozzie 11/1 Master Chewy 14/1 Matata 16/1 Authorised Speed 66/1

2.50 – Ultima Handicap Chase – Meetingofthewaters 6/1 The Goffer 6/1 Trelawne 6/1 Chianti Classico 11/2 Weveallbeencaught 8/1 Stumptown 9/1 Monbeg Genius 14/1 Eklat De Rire 16/1 Victtorino 16/1 Famous Bridge 20/1 Eldorado Allen 22/1 Chambard 22/1 Twig 25/1 Lord Du Mesnil 25/1 Gevry 28/1 Kittys Light 25/1 Excello 33/1 Highland Hunter 40/1 Minella Crooner 40/1 Risk And Roll 40/1 Run Wild Fred 50/1 Busselton 50/1 Found On 50/1

3.30 – Champion Hurdle – State Man 4/11 Irish Point 11/2 Iberico Lord 10/1 Nemean Lion 20/1 Zarak The Brave 20/1 Colonel Mustard 33/1 Not So Sleepy 33/1 Luccia 40/1

4.10 – David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle – Lossiemouth 4/6 Ashroe Diamond 7/1 Love Envoi 10/1 Telmesomethinggirl 14/1 Maries Rock 14/1 You Wear It Well 18/1 Lantry Lady 16/1 Echoes In Rain 16/1 Gala Marceau 16/1 Hispanic Moon 50/1 Theatre Glory 150/1

4.50 – Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle – Milan Tino 5/1 Lark In The Mornin 11/2 Liari 7/1 Ndaawi 10/1 Karia Des Blaises 11/1 Batman Girac 11/1 Eagle Fang 12/1 Nara 12/1 Ose Partir 14/1 Bright Legend 14/1 Latin Verse 14/1 Palamon 16/1 Miss Manzor 20/1 Roaring Legend 22/1 Harsh 22/1 An Bradan Feasa 25/1 Pigeon House 28/1 Mordor 33/1 Balboa 40/1 Les Loyautes 33/1 Teorie 50/1 Eagles Reign 80/1

5.30 – Challenge Cup Novices’ Chase – Embassy Gardens 15/8 Corbetts Cross 9/4 Apple Away 13/2 Salvador Ziggy 7/1 Mr Vango 17/2 Kilbeg King 14/1 Henrys Friend 18/1

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