Home » Willie Mullins’ confirmed runners and riders at Sandown on Saturday

Willie Mullins’ confirmed runners and riders at Sandown on Saturday

Willie Mullins is firing some big guns at Saturday’s Sandown finale in a bid to land the British Jump Trainers’ Championship for the first time in his illustrious career.

The Closutton maestro is on the brink of emulating the legendary Vincent O’Brien – the last Irish handler to conquer Britain’s National Hunt scene in 1954 – but he is keen to add a few more pounds sterling to his total to fend off Dan Skelton and Paul Nicholls.

A fabulous nine winners at the Cheltenham Festival, I Am Maximus’ storming success in the Aintree Grand National and Macdermott’s victory in the Scottish equivalent saw Mullins climb to the top of the British Jump Trainers’ Championship standings – and he will look to El Fabiolo in the Celebration Chase, the last Grade 1 of the season, to get the job done.

The 2023 Arkle winner is bidding to make amends for a flop in last month’s Queen Mother Champion Chase and meets big foe Jonbon for the third instalment of their rivalry.

Impaire Et Passe is the other eye-catching entry in the Grade 2 Select Hurdle and is joined by dual Cheltenham Festival-winning stablemate Sir Gerhard, while Mullins runs a trio of horses in the feature, the bet365 Gold Cup.

The latest horse racing odds are on the Paddy Power website and Paddy Power app, otherwise, details of Willie Mullins’ confirmed runners and riders at Sandown on Saturday and Timeform’s assessment can be found below.

Willie Mullins’ Saturday Sandown runners and riders

Willie Mullins has declared nine horses in the following five races at Sandown on Saturday, April 27:

14:25 – Oaksey Chase (Grade 2)

Prize Money: £80,000 (Winner: £45,560)

Easy Game (Paul Townend)

Prolific winning chaser who was back on song after his Galway Plate flop when landing Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase (for a third time) at Gowran (20f) 6 months ago. Ran no sort of race in the Melling Chase at Aintree on first run since 2 weeks ago but very much the type to bounce back. Headgear fitted.

****

15:00 – Celebration Chase (Grade 1)

Prize Money: £170,000 (Winner: £96,815)

El Fabiolo (Paul Townend)

Impressive winner of 3 Grade 1s during his novice chase campaign last season, which includes a 5½-length beating of Jonbon in the Arkle. Fluffed his lines for the first time over fences when pulled up after a bad mistake in the Champion Chase last month but, otherwise, he is hard to fault.

*****

15:35 – Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap)

Prize Money: £170,000 (Winner: £95,659)

Aime Desjy (Sean O’Keeffe)

Has taken well to chasing and readily landed the odds in novice at Gowran (20f) last month. Emerged with plenty of credit when fifth in Topham Chase at Aintree (21.1f) latest but this much longer trip is new territory for him.

**

 

Minella Cocooner (Danny Mullins)

Smart winner at 22f over hurdles (second in the 2022 Albert Bartlett) who posted his best effort in this sphere when third of 20 in Irish National (29.1f, heavy) at Fairyhouse earlier this month. Faces different conditions here but is unexposed over staying trips and must enter calculations.

***

 

Nick Rockett (Paul Townend)

Developed into a smart novice hurdler last spring and has taken well to fences on return, winning Fairyhouse maiden before good second in Navan Grade 3 (24f) in February. May have found testing conditions against him when seventh in Irish National latest and remains open to improvement.

***

16:10 – Select Hurdle (Grade 2)

Prize Money: £80,000 (Winner: £45,560)

Impaire Et Passe (Paul Townend)

High-class hurdler who belatedly opened his account for the season when edging out Bob Olinger in a contentious finish at Aintree earlier in the month. Fortunate to get the better of Langer Dan there, but still boasts excellent claims.

****

 

Sir Gerhard (Patrick Mullins)

Leading novice hurdler of 2021/22 campaign and a smart novice chaser last term. Positive return to the smaller obstacles this season and had plenty in hand when landing a minor event at Cork last time. Definite player.

****

17:20 – Handicap Hurdle

Prize Money: £35,000 (Winner: £18,210)

Gold Dancer (Danny Mullins)

Successful on second outing in France and stepped up on his previous outing for the yard when fourth of 11 in Easter Festival Novices’ Hurdle at Fairyhouse (20f, heavy) 27 days ago. Into handicaps now from a stiff-looking mark but remains capable of better.

****

 

Sa Majeste (Paul Townend)

Off the mark on second outing in France for Y. Fouin and got back on the up after 8 months off when beating former Grand National winner Noble Yeats at Limerick (20f) in December. Not in same form in Coral Cup at Cheltenham Festival 11 weeks later but he should have learnt from the experience.

***

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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