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Willie Mullins Stable Tour 2023/24 - Key quotes from Ireland's Champion Trainer

jon-vine
25 Oct 2023
jon-vine
Jon Vine 25 Oct 2023
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  • Key quotes from Willie Mullins' stable tour
  • Mullins ran through all of his stars for the 2023/24 season with Sporting Life
  • Get updates on Allaho, Galopin Des Champs, Impaire Et Passe and many more
  • All quotes taken from Sporting Life
willie mullins
Paul Townend poses alongside Trainer Willie Mullins after winning the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase on board Galopin Des Champs. (Getty)
    Willie Mullins Stable Tour 23/24
  • 🌟 Stable Stars 🌟
  • Allaho
  • El Fabiolo
  • Facile Vega
  • Galopin des Champs
  • Impaire et Passe
  • Lossiemouth
  • State Man
  • ➡️ Novice Hurdlers
  • Ballyburn
  • Blizzard of Oz
  • Dancing City
  • Fun Fun Fun
  • Gold Dancer
  • It's For Me
  • Jit Langy
  • Junta Marvel
  • Mirazur West
  • Mistergif
  • Mystical Power
  • Ocastle des Mottes
  • Predators Gold
  • Redemption Day
  • Tullyhill
  • You Oughta Know
  • ➡️ Juveniles
  • Batman Girac
  • Bunting
  • Highwind
  • Salvator Mundi
  • Kargese
  • Karia des Blaises
  • Ethical Diamond
  • ➡️ Older Hurdlers
  • Ashroe Diamond
  • Asterion Forlonge
  • Bring On The Night
  • Champ Kiely
  • Echoes In Rain
  • Gala Marceau
  • Mercurey
  • Risk Belle
  • Zarak The Brave
  • ➡️ Novice Chasers
  • Blood Destiny
  • Brandy Love
  • Embassy Gardens
  • Fact To File
  • Gaelic Warrior
  • Grangeclare West
  • Hercule du Seuil
  • Hunters Yarn
  • Il Etait Temps
  • Klassical Dream
  • Minella Cocooner
  • Mister Policeman
  • Nick Rockett
  • Sharjah
  • Spanish Harlem
  • Zenta
  • ➡️ Older Chasers
  • Allegorie de Vassy
  • Appreciate It
  • Blue Lord
  • Bronn
  • Capodanno
  • Classic Getaway
  • Dinoblue
  • Dysart Dynamo
  • Flame Bearer
  • Gaillard du Mesnil
  • Gentleman de Mee
  • Haut En Couleurs
  • I Am Maximus
  • James du Berlais
  • Janidil
  • Kilcruit
  • Monkfish
  • Mr Incredible
  • Saint Roi
  • Sir Gerhard
  • ➡️ Bumper Horses
  • Aurora Vega
  • C'est Ta Chance
  • Jasmin de Vaux
  • Majborough

Ireland's Champion Trainer and the most successful Cheltenham Festival handler, Willie Mullins walked Sporting Life through his stable for the 2023/24 season this week.

Here's the full Willie Mullins stable tour. All quotes taken from Sporting Life.

Willie Mullins Stable Tour 2023/24


🌟 Stable Stars 🌟


Allaho


He's in good shape. He had a very unusual injury last year, he got a little bleed in his spleen. He just got that doing normal exercise at home, very unusual, but he is a big unit, a huge horse, probably one of the biggest horses we have in the place here. When they’re big it's great but sometimes they can maybe be too big, anyhow he's won two Ryanair Chases and hopefully on course for another one this season. People will say why not go for the Cheltenham Gold Cup as he won the Punchestown Gold Cup, but it's an extra two furlongs up a hill, whereas Punchestown isn't as demanding as a wet ground Cheltenham. I'll be happy to get him to Cheltenham for something, back anywhere. He'll probably start off in the Clonmel Oil as he has no penalty there this year and that will be a nice place to start just down the road. The King George is a possibility but at the moment I'm just looking at the one race at Clonmel.

El Fabiolo


He's a lovely horse to have around the place and looks like he's Champion Chase material. He's an up and coming two-miler and has all the credentials to go to the top. He's good and strong and learning all the time and we're delighted to have him here. This is one of the top-notchers in the yard I think.

Facile Vega


He'll go jumping over fences. We'll start him off wherever we get nice ground, I'm not too worried about trip early on - two or two and a half. I'm looking at him as a possible Arkle horse. We'll see how he takes to fences but I'd imagine he should be a lot better over fences. I think he'll have probably more respect for a fence than a hurdle and I'll get him going as soon as I can, probably mid-November.

He's jumped a couple of times, seems quite good, and I'm looking forward to him coming out. Let's hope he jumps well on his first few runs over fences and then we can see which direction we're going to go, two or two and a half. I'd hope the best is still to come, the family seem to improve with age.

Galopin des Champs


He was ridden fairly cold in the Cheltenham Gold Cup which I was delighted with as I didn't want to get into the early exchanges and he came through at the right time. Hopefully we can repeat the dose this year and we'll probably keep the same routine: John Durkan Chase, Dublin Racing Festival and onto Cheltenham and then back to Punchestown. He's come through all his pre-training well and will be starting work shortly. I'm very happy with him. 

The John Durkan is a week earlier this year which suits horses that also want to run at Christmas but it worked last year skipping Christmas and we'll probably do the same this year. At Cheltenham he travelled so well and Paul had the confidence in him to let him travel. You just hope traffic doesn't get in the way - when you ride horses like that in three-mile chases you're always worried about traffic and fallers, and horses making mistakes in front of you. That's the gamble you take, but when you have a horse with this fellow's gears you can take that risk.

Impaire et Passe


He was awesome when winning the Ballymore and was a real, real find from last year. Chatting to Simon [Munir] and Isaac [Souede] we're keen to stay hurdling. We might go to the Hatton's Grace - he'll also have an entry in the Morgiana - but he'll definitely stay hurdling and hopefully be good enough to be a champion hurdler. 

He's second favourite for the Champion Hurdle and is a lively horse to go down that route. I’d imagine he'll go to the Hatton's Grace, Dublin Racing Festival and then on to Cheltenham. He appears to have the pace and to be involved in a Champion Hurdle you need that two and a half mile stamina with a bit of pace.

Lossiemouth


She's been very good, very strong and has been coming back and doing everything well. But she's only a four-year-old and had six runs last season so she had a very busy juvenile season. I'm not keen to get her out as early as normal - I think I'm going to wait to at least Christmas to run her. She's fourth favourite for the Champion Hurdle and favourite for the Mares' Hurdle, you'd have to think the Mares' Hurdle is her target at this point. 

We'll maybe get one or two runs into her before that which would be plenty. A five-year-old career is always very hard so I'm not going to push her too hard, early in the season anyhow. All her form is fantastic, it's tip-top form.

State Man


I think we're going to stay hurdling with him - do exactly what we did last year. We'll try and do something different with Constitution Hill at Cheltenham but that's the sort of route we're going to go, the same as last year. He'll be stronger this year and hopefully he's improved more than Constitution Hill, but it's going to be a hard one. He'd look to have a few races in this country maybe at his mercy.

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Paul Townend riding State Man win The Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown. (Getty)

➡️ Novice Hurdlers


Ballyburn


Ballyburn looks a top-notcher. Rather than going for the Champion Bumper we went for the winners' bumper at Punchestown. He came with a nice reputation and, while he looks a chaser in the marking, he could be one of our top-notch novice hurdlers, possibly in the staying division - a Ballymore type. He has been keen in bumpers but I'd imagine jumping will steady him up a bit and maybe we'll ride him with more restraint when he gets into bigger novice hurdles, but in his maiden hurdle if he jumps well he might take his chance from the front, but that'll be Paul Townend's problem.

Blizzard of Oz


He looks more a chasing type to me than a novice hurdler but he's a nice type and will go novice hurdling. He was runner-up in the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree on his final start last season.

Dancing City


He'll probably be one for the staying division over hurdles. He jumps well, does everything right at home.

Fun Fun Fun


Fun Fun Fun is back and very strong. We'll start off in a maiden hurdle and let her tell us which direction she will go. Looking at her pedigree you'd say she'd be going the two-and-a-half-mile route.

Gold Dancer


He's a previous winner over hurdles in France. We'll have to start him off in winners' races and go down the novice route. He sounds like a Ballymore Novices' Hurdle horse having won at Compiegne.

It's For Me


He got upset at Cheltenham before the start of the Champion Bumper but I'm hoping jumping will settle him down.

Jit Langy


He won at Tipperary in May so is still a novice. He's a sharp novice and will start off in the Fishery Lane at Naas.

Junta Marvel


She looks to be a really nice prospect, winning two from two and winning them well. Unfortunately she met with a setback during the summer at grass.

Mirazur West


Mirazur West is a horse I'm really looking forward to. He's a full brother to Ferny Hollow and certainly impresses on the gallop - I think he's one you could follow for the season. Even though he hasn't started working yet he catches your eye when he's out on the gallop. His brother Ferny Hollow is making very slow progress but is making progress. If he comes back it will be towards the end of the season and we're not going to rush a horse of his ability, we'll let him take all the time he needs. It's not ideal when you miss two seasons, but he has such ability we're going to give him every chance.

Mistergif


He'll go down the novice hurdle route. He's by Zarak and should be sharp enough. He was placed at Auteuil and could be a quality maiden type.

Mystical Power


He improved hugely from his bumper to his novice hurdle, and we were very impressed with him at Galway, however that took a lot out of him and he's on a break at the moment. If he could improve a little bit more he'll run in the top novice races and with his pedigree he'll want two and a half miles. He's one to look forward to. We were a bit disappointed at Ballinrobe in his bumper as even though he won he made it very workmanlike, but he looked to have a bit of class in Galway and maybe jumping brings out more of his mother Annie Power's ability.

Ocastle des Mottes


A big, chasing type who could possibly go for the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle as he's only a novice until December after winning twice in France. He's got a good rating coming out of France.

Predators Gold


Predators Gold has come back well and is good and strong. I'm very happy with him. He jumps well and as a Land Rover Bumper winner you're probably looking at a horse with plenty of stamina. I reckon he'll probably be one of the staying types this term. He's a nice, big chasing type by Masked Marvel who imparts plenty of stamina in his stock.

Redemption Day


Redemption Day was very impressive coming second to Facile Vega at Punchestown the season before last. He had problems last season but is well on course to come back over jumps this season and he's a horse who showed quite a lot of speed in his bumpers so he could be one for the minimum trip and maybe a Supreme Novices' Hurdle horse.

Tullyhill


Tullyhill is another really nice bumper from last season and would look an out-and-out stamina prospect over hurdles. Once again, he has chaser written across his forehead, but I'd imagine he'll be a Ballymore or Albert Bartlett type.

You Oughta Know


Luke McMahon has been a long-established client in the yard and he looks to have a nice one here in You Oughta Know who won twice in bumpers. I gave him a break to give him a chance to be a good horse and he'll go novice hurdling when he comes back. Being by Beat Hollow he might want nice ground so will probably be kept to better tracks but he looks a really nice prospect in the making.

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Paul Townend riding Impaire Et Passe clear the last to win The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle . (Getty)

➡️ Juveniles


Batman Girac


Batman Girac won in France so immediately you'd be thinking he could be a Triumph Hurdle contender. He'll have to take on winners and he will probably come out later in the season but he's doing things nicely at home here.

Bunting


He's a lovely hurdling type. We'll start off around Christmas time over hurdles. He jumps well.

Highwind


He's a Triumph Hurdle possible. He should be coming out mid-season.

Salvator Mundi


This is a nice prospect. I gave him a break and he's in pre-training with a view to coming out around Christmas time. He has every prospect of being a Triumph Hurdle horse. I'm looking forward to training him.

Kargese


She's a big, strong mare who might shape better over fences but she will be going down the juvenile hurdle route. She's won twice already so is fairly smart.

Karia des Blaises


She's a lovely big mare. She'll go down the juvenile route but could be a chasing type.

Ethical Diamond


A very nice horse we bought at Newmarket. He looked very impressive when winning at Limerick and is owned by the H O S Syndicate who have Absurde out in Melbourne at the moment. I think he's a really nice dual-purpose type, and a backward type, so to do what he did at Limerick impressed us. I think he'll improve a lot but he is backward. We'll start him off in juvenile hurdles but he should improve with age.

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Paul Townend celebrates on board Lossiemouth after winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle during day four of the Cheltenham Festival 2023 at Cheltenham. (Getty)

➡️ Older Hurdlers


Ashroe Diamond


Ashroe Diamond has schooled well over fences but she's a valuable mare and the decision hasn't been made whether she's going to go down the mares' novice chase route or stick to hurdling this season. She's come back in good form and I'll have to have a word with connections.

Asterion Forlonge


He'll start off hurdling. He hurdled last season and stayed sound and he's looking good this season. If his first few runs over hurdles are good we might stay hurdling, but we could mix it over fences. If he jumps very well he has the ability and he was going so well in the King George two years ago and he ran well enough in the Gold Cup considering he came back with an injury. The first hint he's not going well we could retire him - he doesn't owe us anything.

Bring On The Night


He had another little issue after running at Royal Ascot. I had intended on going over fences with him but that's been put on hold and he's a couple of months behind the rest of the string. I'd imagine we'll be looking at half a season over hurdles. With his rating he looks like he could be one for a nice handicap somewhere.

Champ Kiely


Champ Kiely met with a setback out at grass this summer so is going to miss the first half of the season. I would imagine I'd just keep him hurdling and put off his novice chase campaign until next season.

Echoes In Rain


Echoes In Rain is in the Loughbrown Stakes at the Curragh and could start off over hurdles in the Hatton's Grace and have a similar path to Cheltenham as last year.

Gala Marceau


Gala Marceau won in Paris but had a long season. She's back in good form but I don't want to get going until around Christmas time unless she's absolutely jumping out over the door at home. She's one for the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham, that will be her main aim.

Mercurey


Unfortunately Mercurey got injured when he was second at Cork and has taken a long time to get over it. There's a chance he might be ready to run in the second half of the season but we haven't made our mind up whether he'll stay hurdling or go novice chasing.

Risk Belle


She could go novice chasing but she still has a nice mark over hurdles so we'll probably put chasing off until next season and look for a nice handicap with her.

Zarak The Brave


We've penned in the Prix d'Automne at Auteuil in November for Zarak The Brave, however he's only four and had a busy enough summer winning the Galway Hurdle, and the preparation for that takes a lot out of a four-year-old. He disappointed in Tipperary but seems fine now. Whether I go for an autumn campaign or give him a longer break with a view to Christmas and the spring is a decision I'm going to have to make in the next fortnight.

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Jockey Rachael Blackmore rides horse Allaho to win The Ryanair Chase on Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

➡️ Novice Chasers


Blood Destiny


I'm looking forward to going novice chasing with him. He's a horse who impressed us at home hugely last season but didn't do on the track everything we thought he was capable of doing. He's inclined to get a bit buzzy at the races so he's got to settle down. He jumps well, a fine type of horse, and he will start off in a beginners' chase as soon as he's ready. He has the pace to win over two miles but if he settles down he has the pedigree to win over a longer trip. We will see how his season progresses as we race him.

Brandy Love


She's one we'll have to do a lot of thinking about. The obvious thing would be to go over fences. She jumps well - she's a point-to-point winner - and I think I'll start her off over fences and see how things go. She has everything - a bit of speed, plenty of stamina.

Embassy Gardens


He's come back very strong and I'm very pleased with how he came back from grass. He looks much stronger than last year so I'm much happier with him and looking forward to going over fences.

Fact To File


Fact To File is a horse I really like and I thought he ran a cracker in the Cheltenham Bumper. He could go novice hurdling but I feel he should go novice chasing. He looks a real jumping type and at his age - he's six turning seven - I just feel he might be as well off going jumping. He has everything you'd want in a chaser - size, scope, temperament - and for me he's one who could make up into a real top-class chaser. 

We've gone straight over fences with very few horses since Florida Pearl but this horse has the size, scope and temperament to take a chance and his age is a real reason why I want to go, it's a big factor. I think he's a real chaser so I'm keen to get him over jumps.

Gaelic Warrior


We'll aim him for a beginners' chase and he looks like a sort of Brown Advisory horse - he's all stamina, jumps well, fine big stamp of a chaser. We'll start off in a beginners' chase somewhere and hopefully make our way to Cheltenham. I'm always keen to go chasing at this age rather than stay hurdling. If he doesn't take to fences - which he should, I'm not worried about him taking to fences - he can always go back to the Stayers' Hurdle route. To me he's a made novice chaser.

Grangeclare West


He was probably a little disappointing for what he shows me at home but I think chasing will bring out the best in him. He looks an out-and-out staying type and we'll start him off in a beginners' chase. I think he'll be in the staying division. He's another Brown Advisory possible.

Hercule du Seuil


He's been very good and has won five on the trot over fences. He's a free-going type and Mark Walsh has been very good on him - I think he's learning to settle the more he races. He's won over two and a quarter miles already but as he goes higher in grade he'll probably come back in trip to two miles.

I think he's going to be ground dependent and probably won't run through the winter unless the likes of Leopardstown throw up nice ground. We'll decide with JP [McManus, owner] whether he wants to give him a break and prepare him for the spring. His style of racing will put it up to what would look the better novices on paper. He has all the experience but I think ground is crucial.

Hunters Yarn


He's going to go down the two-mile route over fences as when we ran him over further at Punchestown on his hurdling debut he disappointed us.

Il Etait Temps


He doesn't have much respect for his hurdles but I'm hoping he has more respect over fences. He's very keen and sometimes those keen horses have more respect over fences and settle, and if he did learn to settle and race properly he could make into a Grade 1 horse over fences.

Klassical Dream


I'd like to go jumping fences with Klassical Dream. We had him declared for a beginners' chase before but he had a little issue. He seemed a stronger horse and much more himself this year, and I think he deserves a season novice chasing. He'd be in the staying division.

Minella Cocooner


Minella Cocooner has come back and looks well. The little bit of experience he got last year behind Classic Getaway will stand to him and he's by Flemensfirth out of an Old Vic mare which suggests he'll want a trip. We'll start him off and then probably up him in trip after that.

Mister Policeman


He’s a horse who works really well at home and has to go novice chasing at his age but wouldn't have any problem coming back over hurdles. He has plenty of speed and could go the whole way to the top. I think he's going to be a two-mile horse and he could possibly go down the Arkle route but we'll have to see as he races through the season.

Nick Rockett


Nick Rockett is a horse with a lot of ability. He was unlucky first time out in a bumper and then won a bumper, maiden hurdle and a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Fairyhouse. He's one I think will stay and he's a horse who looks like a chaser and can hopefully improve.

Sharjah


Sharjah will stay novice chasing and we're looking at the Drinmore and the Craddockstown. We'll see where we go but he could go two or two and a half miles. He's taken to chasing really well and it's been a nice surprise, so there might be some nice prizes to be won with him this season.

Spanish Harlem


He had a good summer. When we bought him chasing was always the objective so he'll go novice chasing and I think he'll probably be in the staying division. He's shaping up nicely, jumps well, so is probably going to be a Brown Advisory sort - a real nice type. He got a full summer out at grass with us this term and I felt he missed that before last season when we bought him in the summer, which held him up a little. His chance of fulfilling the potential we think he has is much better this term.

Zenta


She was a nice juvenile we had last season. She's a fine, big, jumping mare and I might go novice chasing with her this season. She has the size and scope to do that, but I'll have a word with connections about whether they want to spend another season hurdling.

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Facile Vega bids for his third Grade One at Leopardstown on Tuesday. (Getty)

➡️ Older Chasers


Allegorie de Vassy


Allegorie de Vassy finished second at Cheltenham when she was beaten by JP's good mare Impervious. I imagine we'll be planning the mares' route again this year. We might start off on Clonmel Oil day in November in the T.A. Morris Memorial listed race for mares. There's a lack of open races for mares in Ireland after that so we might go to Carlisle or just wait for Christmas.

Appreciate It


We have a choice, we can either go two or two and a half miles and I think towards the end of the season we'll probably end up aiming him for the Ryanair. He could start off in the Hilly Way, Clonmel Oil or Fortria Chase - they're the sort of places he could start off all being well.

Blue Lord


Blue Lord will probably start off over two miles and aim for Christmas and the Dublin Racing Festival and possibly end up in the Champion Chase all being well.

Bronn


He's a real chasing type and was third in Grade 1s at Cheltenham and Aintree last season. He could start off in a listed chase at Thurles in November and will be going down the staying handicap route, possibly races like the Coral Gold Cup, Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown or Irish National. He could also get an entry in the National at Aintree and Welsh National.

Capodanno


I thought he was a Gold Cup horse but he didn't do enough for me last season so we'll go down the handicap route. He jumps, he stays, probably likes nicer ground and I'll get him going earlier and get more runs into him. He ran in the Aintree National last season and a return there is where my head is at the moment.

Classic Getaway


He won nicely early on, beating Minella Cocooner which wasn't too bad, but he missed a lot of the season and then had a hurried preparation for Punchestown where he finished fourth in a top-class race behind Feronily. He'll probably go for a winners of one race and has the class for a Grade 1 over fences, we just have to keep him right. He'll be going down the Grade 1 route over three miles.

Dinoblue


Dinoblue has come back very strong. She got a lot of experience in handicaps last term and it looks like the mares' chase at Cheltenham is the route that's open to her this season.

Dysart Dynamo


He disappointed me a little last season. If he would settle in his races, he could go up to two and a half miles. We'll probably start him off in the Fortria Chase at Navan or Poplar Square Chase at Naas. He needs to relax a bit more and get a longer trip otherwise he's taking on Champion Chase horses over the minimum trip.

Flame Bearer


He had a small setback earlier in the season and had a small bit of surgery which was very minor but will hold him up in the first part of the season. All being well, we might get the second part of the season out of him - he did very well towards the end of last season. But if he has to miss the season so be it, we'll just have to monitor how we go.

Gaillard du Mesnil


I'd imagine he'll be a Grand National type horse again. We'll try to get him out early enough and get plenty of runs into him and aim him for the Irish or Aintree National.

Gentleman de Mee


Gentleman de Mee will probably have the same sort of route as last year, maybe starting in the Poplar Square at Naas. We'll have a look at the Tingle Creek - he was a bit disappointing in it last year when he was probably a bit too free over the first few fences but that's his style of racing. I'll have a word with connections to see if they're keen to go there again or maybe just keep him for the Dublin Racing Festival where he won last season.

Haut En Couleurs


I'd imagine he'd start off maybe in a valuable two-and-a-half-mile handicap. We ran him over three miles plus in the French Champion Hurdle in May and I'm not sure he enjoyed the longer trip so we'll keep him to two and a half to three miles in handicaps and hope we can land a big one. He was a little disappointing last season, promising more than he delivered, but he might still have a nice mark and we'll try to make use of that.

I Am Maximus


He won the Irish National last season, doing it the hard way. He didn't like going around the inside on the first circuit so Paul switched him to the outside and it seemed to suit him. I'd imagine his big aim this year is going to be the Aintree National so we'll get him away early enough in the season, maybe giving him a run over hurdles to open his pipes.

James du Berlais


He has disappointed us a little and is only a winner of one for us, but he might have a nice mark for some of those two-and-a-half-mile-plus handicap chases. I see him more as a staying chaser rather than a two-and-a-half miler and I'll probably be aiming him for big handicaps.

Janidil


He's won three over fences and is a Grade 2/3 chaser who might try some of the big handicaps as well. He could stay this year and we'd like to try him over a trip in handicap company. I've no big aim for him at the moment.

Kilcruit


He's on a break for the first half of the season and we'll try to get him back in the spring. He'll miss Christmas and probably the Dublin Racing Festival and if thing comes right, it will be next spring and there's no great aim for him at the moment except maybe Fairyhouse or Punchestown. I'd imagine a nice handicap at one of those festivals.

Monkfish


We'll probably start him off over hurdles and he seems fine - good and sound. He's a horse I'd really like to get back over fences but I've got to be very careful on the ground he runs on, I think it has to be soft or heavy. Certainly he wouldn't want to be running on autumn good ground because he's a big horse. He's spectacular when he's right but one of his runs was on good ground and he hasn't been the same since. Hopefully he'll make it back to nearly as good as he was.

Mr Incredible


He has his own way of doing things but jumps well and stays all day. The Welsh National is a target all being well.

Saint Roi


He's a very keen horse and takes a lot of riding but he won a Grade 1 at Leopardstown at Christmas when the ones in front maybe went a shade too fast. He's by Coastal Path and I think he can stay further and fences seem to settle him, so we might go down the Ryanair route with him, maybe running him over two and a half. He was second over that trip at Aintree to Banbridge, which is good form, and in his second year over fences he might be a lot more settled.

Sir Gerhard


He was a very good bumper horse and was brilliant over hurdles. I'm going to start him off chasing again this season but he's a horse that's hard to keep right. I have a feeling we might be changing tack during the season and if his jumping doesn't hold up he's one I have earmarked as a Stayers' Hurdle horse. He has the ability and the stamina and is just hard to keep right over fences. If he stays right over fences he's a Ryanair or Gold Cup horse, but I've a funny feeling he might end up back over hurdles. He has an official rating of 155 over fences and if his jumping holds up he's probably well handicapped so a big handicap mid-season might seem the plan - he could be a Thyestes horse and if that doesn't work out, the Stayers' Hurdle.

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Jockey Paul Townend celebrates on Galopin Des Champs after winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase. (Getty)

➡️ Bumper Horses


Aurora Vega


She'll stick to the bumper route and her next run will possibly be at the Dublin Racing Festival in the Grade 2 mares' bumper Fun Fun Fun won last season. We'll give her every chance to be a top-class mare. She's not a mare I see going over fences, so we'll stick to bumpers this season and have a good novice hurdling campaign next season, all being well. I'm very pleased with how much she's progressing and that seems to be a feature of the Quevega pedigree, that they improve with age.

C'est Ta Chance


He's a lovely horse by Elm Park. He won a point-to-point for Pat Doyle and he could have a sharp enough pedigree for bumpers.

Jasmin de Vaux


He's a nice horse by Tirwanako. He won his point to point well and we'll see him out in a bumper around Christmas time.

Majborough


He's smart. A real chasing type but he will go down the juvenile hurdle route as he's already won in Auteuil. He's a fine stamp of a chasing type.


*All of the quotes above are accredited to www.sportinglife.com*

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