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Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tips - Willie Mullins' French Recruits

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Last updated: 27 Sep 2023
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Jon Vine 27 Sep 2023
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  • Ante-post tips for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival
  • We assess Willie Mullins' French recruits ahead of the new National Hunt season
  • Jimmy Du Seuil, Full Of Shade and Highwind feature in our selections
willie mullins cheltenham
Willie Mullins (right) celebrates winning the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in 2023. (Getty)

Three of Willie Mullins' new French recruits to back ante-post for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival.

Willie Mullins is already the dominant force in National Hunt racing and Ireland's Champion Trainer welcomed an influx of young French recruits through his gates over the summer. Here are three names to add to your track, with the 2024 Cheltenham Festival in mind.

Willie Mullins' French Recruits 2023


Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2024 Tips - Jimmy Du Seuil


Champion Bumper horses have a particularly poor record in the Supreme and the geldings that Mullins ran in this year's event all look like two-and-a-half or three milers. Tullyhill could be useful over the minimum distance, as could Mirazur West - somewhat of a talking horse on the YouTube circuit - but it wouldn't be a surprise if one of Mullins' French imports turned out to be his Supreme horse in 2024.

Mistergif is priced up for the Supreme, but he looks like more of a chasing prospect to me. As does Gold Dancer, who's already won over hurdles and will run in the Gigginstown Silks this season. JIMMY DU SEUIL (25/1) has only been priced up by a couple of firms thus far, but I liked what I saw in his two bumper outings in France and he's certainly bred to take well to hurdles.

Having kept on well from the rear to finish fifth on debut over a mile-and-a-half, Jimmy Du Seuil was beaten narrowly on his second start by Jumper Sacre, who has gone on to win a valuable race over hurdles since. Mullins' recruit is by the same sire as Grade One winners Vauban and Gala Marceau, and he's related to horses who've won over hurdles for both Gordon Elliott and Nicky Henderson.

Jimmy Du Seuil will run in the black, white and red-quartered silks of Edward Ware - owner of 2021 Boodles runner-up and 159-rated chaser, Saint Sam. Jimmy Du Seuil could be kept in bumpers this season, but Mullins has won the Supreme Novices' Hurdle with several soon-to-be five-year-olds down the years and he could be up to that sort of standard.

Mares' Novices' Hurdle 2024 Tips - Full Of Shade


A listed winner on her final flat outing in France last September, Enola has made the move to Willie Mullins' yard ahead of the new National Hunt season and she already sits prominently in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle betting.

You have to scroll a little further down the ante-post market to find FULL OF SHADE (20/1) who, unlike her compatriot Enola, brings hurdling experience with her to Closutton. 

Full Of Shade placed sixth on her hurdles bow at Compiegne in April, but was much more competitive next time out at Auteuil, where she finished a close second behind Jasmine De Corton. Full Of Shade is by a dependable sire in No Risk At All and she's out of a solid dam in Shadline, herself a winner over fences in France. She could progress plenty during her first season in County Carlow.

Triumph Hurdle 2024 Tips - Highwind


Salvator Mundi was beaten by Sir Gino in the Listed Wild Monarch Hurdle at Auteuil in April. The Donnelly's moved to purchase both the winner and the runner-up soon after. Sir Gino went to Nicky Henderson, but Salvator Mundi was transferred to Willie Mullins and he already sits atop the Triumph Hurdle betting.

Hurdles winners Kargese, Karia Des Blaises and Batman Girac also made the move to Closutton, along with Bunting, who was impressive in winning a maiden over 10 furlongs. HIGHWIND (20/1) was also successful during a fairly busy flat campaign and I'm itching to see this son of Zarak jump a hurdle.

Highwind bolted up in a maiden at Deauville in February, before going on to finish third behind future pattern performers in two outings at Saint-Cloud. 

Group One placers Zarak The Brave and Bo Zenith came out of Zarak's first crop of jumpers last season and Highwind will run in the colours of Audrey Turley, made famous by Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs. Mullins will surely have the Cheltenham Festival in mind for this talented three-year-old.

Verdict

Cheltenham Ante-Post Tips:

Best Bet1: Jimmy Du Seuil 2024 Supreme Novices' Hurdle @25/1 at Unibet - 5 Units
Best Bet2: Full Of Shade 2024 Mares' Novices' Hurdle @20/1 at Unibet - 5 Units
Best Bet3: Highwind 2024 Triumph Hurdle @20/1 at Unibet - 5 Units
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