Willie Mullins’ Cheltenham Festival 2021 Stable Tour – Which entries hold his main hopes of Cheltenham winners?

Willie Mullins Cheltenham entries

Willie Mullins is going to the 2021 Cheltenham Festival with one of the best strings of horses he has ever had, and at the time of writing, he has the favourite in 13 of the 28 races.

His first big hope of the week comes in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the very first race of the Festival. Appreciate It is currently the 7/4 favourite to win the race and he has four more that are 2/1 or shorter, two more that are odds on and the bookies have him priced up at 1/3 to be the top trainer.

Willie Mullins has never won the Queen Mother Champion Chase but he holds high hopes this year with Chacun Pour Soi. 12 months ago he was forced to pull out of the race with injury, but he has been faultless since and looks set to end Mullins’ hoodoo in the Wednesday feature race.

Kilcruit is another major hope for the week – entered in the Champion Bumper and backed down from 10/1 to 13/8 after his demolition of the field in the recent bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Al Boum Photo will be looking to win his third straight Cheltenham Gold Cup on the Friday and Mullins has used the tried and tested prep run at Tramore to get him ready.

See who Willie Mullins’ entries are for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival below and stable tour quotes for his main contenders.


Al Boum Photo

Entry: Cheltenham Gold Cup

“The champ is in great order. I was initially a bit disappointed leaving the stand at Tramore on New Year’s Day, but when I got back home and put all the elements together I was much happier with the performance. He hadn’t run in the autumn because Punchestown was cancelled and he’d gone out to grass much earlier than others so he was more backward than I thought he would be. He seems to be in great order and I’m very happy with where I have him at this stage with a few weeks to go.”



Entry: Ryanair Chase

“He’s coming along nicely now. He ran a big race in the RSA last year and his Thurles win was much more like it. We rode him positively and he answered every call Paul [Townend] gave him. He’s entered in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran but I think we might give that a miss and bring him straight to Cheltenham for the Ryanair. He might just have enough done.”


Appreciate It

Entry: Supreme Novices Hurdle

“He’s come through all his trials very well. I have to be honest, he’s surprised me with how much speed he’s shown. That said, you need to stay very well in the Supreme and he does stay the trip very well. It’s hard to win the Supreme with just a speed horse. He’s come out of his Leopardstown win in very good form and we won’t be doing a whole lot with him between now and March 16. He’s where I want him to be.”



Entry: Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle

“He’s all set to head over for his sixth festival. He’s run well in the last three Stayers’ Hurdles and he’ll have another go in it.”


Blue Lord

Entries: Supreme Novices Hurdle & Ballymore Novices Hurdle

“I’m not sure which race he’ll run in yet but, at the moment, I’m probably leaning towards the Supreme. When he won his maiden hurdle at Punchestown he looked like he needed 2m4f. Then when we ran him over that trip in the Grade 1 at Naas it looked like he wanted two miles. I thought he ran very well behind Appreciate It over two miles at Leopardstown and he’s progressing nicely.”


Brandys Love

Entry: Champion Bumper

“I know she was favourite at Leopardstown and didn’t win, but she didn’t run badly and travelled well for a long way. She’s a nice mare and I wouldn’t be afraid to let her take her chance.”


Brooklynn Glory

Entry: Champion Bumper

“I thought she ran a fine race in defeat at Leopardstown. She deserves to take her chance in another top-class race.”


Chacun Pour Soi

Entry: Champion Chase

“From day one at home he told us he was well above average, certainly not a Joe Soap. He’s had a very good preparation for the Champion Chase this season. Everything has gone smoothly and we’re keeping our fingers and toes crossed that he gets to Cheltenham in one piece and lines up at the start. He’s been great since Leopardstown.”



Entry: Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle

“It took her an awful long time to come to hand last season and she hadn’t even won a race for me before she landed the mares’ novice hurdle at the festival. Thankfully, things have been a bit different this season and she’s won both her starts impressively. We know she handles the track and she goes there with a major shout.”



Entry: Mares’ Chase

“She put in a fine performance at Naas last Saturday week and that should sharpen her up for the Mares’ Chase. She’s put two really good runs back to back now and everything seems to be in place for a big run.”



Entry: Sportinglife Arkle

“We had a fair idea he was going to make a decent chaser when we bought him but what he’s done has been a pleasant surprise. He’s been flawless. He jumps and he stays and he seems to be improving with every run over fences so he goes to the Arkle as a live candidate.”


French Aseel

Entry: JCB Triumph Hurdle

“He was very impressive at Christmas, winning his maiden hurdle by a long way. He had a lot of experience on the Flat but his lack of jumping experience would obviously be a worry. With that in mind, we’ve done a huge amount of schooling with him and he’s been very good. He’s a horse who is going to keep improving with age.”


Gaillard Du Mensil

Entry: Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

“He’s doing everything right. He jumps and stays and looks to have all the credentials you need to be very competitive in a Ballymore. I’d be very hopeful that he will be involved in the business end of it.”


Glens Of Antrim

Entry: Mares Novices’ Hurdle

“I know she was beaten at Naas but I thought she ran a cracker. She was 33 lengths clear of the third there and I think coming back in trip for the mares’ novice hurdle will suit her. She’s a lovely mare.”



Entry: Champion Bumper

“She deserves to take her chance after what she did at Leopardstown. She hit the line hard there and her 7lb allowance will make her very competitive.”


James Du Berlais

Entry: Champion Hurdle

“He was among the top four-year-olds in France last season. Simon Munir and Isaac Souede bought him as a novice chaser rather than a hurdler, but we’re going to have a crack at the Champion Hurdle with him. It’s a case of the Champion Hurdle or the Stayers’ and I think the Stayers’ would be too much of an ask for a five-year-old. I’d be hoping he can pick up a share of the prize-money too, he’s a nice horse. He’s goes straight there.”



Entry: Stayers Hurdle & Cheltenham Gold Cup

“No decision has been made yet. His record over fences at Cheltenham is a little bit average, so the Stayers’ is not out of the question and skipping Cheltenham and going straight to Aintree is another option. We know he likes it there. We’ll decide nearer the time.”



Entry: Champion Bumper

“Visually he couldn’t have been any more impressive at Leopardstown. Whether that was down to the way the race was run or because of his raw ability I’m not quite sure. Cheltenham is a similar sort of track to Leopardstown in that it’s left-handed and up a hill at the finish and I’m hoping he can repeat his Leopardstown performance there.”



Entry: Ryanair Chase & Cheltenham Gold Cup

“He just didn’t enjoy being held up in the Irish Gold Cup at all. Wherever he goes – whether it’s the Ryanair or the Gold Cup – he certainly won’t be doing that again. He enjoyed being ridden positively in the Marsh and we might think about doing something similar in the Ryanair. He always seems to reserve his best for Cheltenham so hopefully that’s the case again this year.”



Entry: Brown Advisory Novices Chase

“He’s been a natural over fences from day one and his performances this season have been flawless. He coped very well with the drop in trip at Leopardstown in the Flogas, and we know he stays too. He’s going to carry an awful lot of Irish hopes going to Cheltenham –including mine.”



Entry: Ryanair Chase

“Of course he was disappointing at Leopardstown but I’m not too concerned about that. We all have our off days and he does too. He had an off day in the Champion Chase a few years ago as well. He won the Ryanair last year and I have no doubt he will be a force to be reckoned with in the race again. He likes to get on with it and that’s the way we’ll ride him.”


Pont Aval

Entry: Mares’ Novices Chase

“She couldn’t have won any easier at Punchestown and she could have booked her ticket to Cheltenham on the back of that. She’s improving all the time.”



Entry: Champion Bumper

“I like this horse and I even told Patrick [Mullins] to ride him instead of Kilcruit at Leopardstown. He didn’t listen to me but I thought he actually ran a cracker and feel there could be a lot of improvement to come from him.”


Saint Roi

Entry: Champion Hurdle

“You’d have to say he’s been a little disappointing. He came alive when he got to Cheltenham last year in the County Hurdle and hopefully he can do something similar this year. He has to improve a lot, though.”



Entry: Champion Hurdle

“He’s a funny horse in that he’s run really poorly in the Irish Champion Hurdle for two years in a row now and I don’t really know why. Maybe it just comes up too soon after Christmas. It didn’t stop him from running a big race in last year’s Champion Hurdle and I’m hoping it won’t this year either. We know he goes well at Cheltenham and I’d like to think he’s got a good each-way chance. He’s been perfectly fine since Leopardstown.”



Entry: Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

“He ran a cracker behind Gaillard Du Mesnil at Leopardstown and that run should put him right for the Albert Bartlett. He jumps and stays so he looks an ideal candidate for the race to me anyway.”



Entry: Triumph Hurdle

“He had a very nasty fall at Fairyhouse when he looked set to win and I think we just ran him back too quickly at Leopardstown. He’s much better than that.”


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