- Capodanno in comfortable win
- 7/2 winner likely to be entered for Ryan Air Chase rather than Gold Cup
- 2023 winner Galopin Des Champs early Gold Cup favourite
Capodanno in convincing win as Mullins/Townend combination strikes again
On a thrilling Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham, Capodanno, guided by jockey Paul Townend and trained by Willie Mullins, galloped to victory in the Cotswold Chase. The duo outpaced their rivals, securing a comfortable win over The Real Whacker by two and three-quarter lengths, with Stay Away Fay settling for third. Despite the impressive performance, Mullins hinted at a potential Ryanair Chase entry for the 7-2 winner instead of the Gold Cup come March.
Townend, elated with the win, expressed satisfaction with Capodanno’s straightforward run, citing the horse’s promising potential since his novice days. The victory, however, was overshadowed by a sombre moment as Coral Gold Cup winner Datsalrightgino suffered a fatal injury following an early fall.
Mullins and Townend continued their winning streak as Lossiemouth seized victory in the Unibet Hurdle, adding another feather to their cap.
In another captivating showdown, Noble Yeats clinched triumph in the Cleeve Hurdle, holding off a spirited challenge from Paisley Park, who aimed for an unprecedented fourth win in the race. Trainer Emmet Mullins praised Noble Yeats’ resilience against the seasoned competitor.
The Clarence House Chase witnessed an unexpected turn of events as 18-year-old jockey Freddie Gingell, riding Elixir De Nutz, stunned spectators by toppling the favourite Jonbon. It marked Gingell’s maiden Grade One victory, much to the delight of trainer Joe Tizzard, who lauded the horse’s prowess and agility, particularly on the favourable ground conditions.
Meanwhile, at Doncaster, jockey Paddy Brennan faced a setback, receiving a 10-day ban for an error that cost him second place on Young Buster in the concluding race, won by Egbert. Brennan’s misjudgment allowed Snipe to surge past him in the final stretch, altering the race’s outcome.
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Mullins looks to continue superb record at Cheltenham
Mullins is the most successful trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival, with 94 winners. In 2023 he had six winners at the festival, including the Gold Cup where Galopin Des Champs was ridden to victory by Townend. Punters may want to look at Mullins’ horses this year at Cheltenham, especially those ridden by Townend.
Cheltenham Festival ante post odds
Galopin Des Champs is once again the early favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. At the time of writing, bet365 have last year’s winner priced at evens ahead of Fastorslow, 9/2 and Shishkin, Gerri Colombe and LHomme Presse who are all currently 10/1.
As stated earlier, Mullins is likely to put Capondanno in the Ryan Air Chase. At the time of writing, bet365 have Capodanno priced at 12/1, with Banbridge currently the 3/1 favourite.
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