Mullins Holds Strong Hand In Champion Novice Hurdle

This week’s Punchestown Festival could well prove to be a bonanza for Irish champion jumps trainer, Willie Mullins, who has a hatful of strongly fancied contenders for the major races. With eight of the 17 horses declared at the five-day stage for Friday’s Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle, his selected runners will surely attract significant market interest.

Champagne Fever is unlikely to figure being declared to run over two miles on the opening day of the meeting, so it could fall to Mullins’ pair of Annie Power and Pont Alexandre to fly the flag for their record breaking trainer. Throughout the big meeting, Punchestown Festival betting firm, BetVictor, have this tremendous offer available: Punchestown Festival 2013 April 23rd-27th MONEY BACK MULLINS! If your selection finishes 2nd to a Willie Mullins-trained winner, we will refund your losing win stake up to £25 as a free bet.

For many people, Pont Alexandre was the Irish banker of the meeting at last month’s Cheltenham Festival but the 6/4 shot failed to justify favouritism in the Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle, eventually coming home third to the impressive The New One after leading at the third from home. More patient tactics could well be employed on the son of Dai Jin if he does get the green light to bid for the prestigious Punchestown prize.

The mare, Annie Power, has proved a revelation this term and has won all seven outings since making her racecourse bow just eight months ago at Galway when landing a bumper. Since then, she has worked her way up through the grades and just keeps on improving with every start, most recently slamming Glens Melody by 12 lengths in the Grade 1 company on her first attempt at two-and-a-half miles at Fairyhouse at the end of March.

The Punchestown Festival odds indicate that she may well have one more win left in her before the season is out.