Mullins and Walsh: set to dominate the Cheltenham Festival again in 2017?

In recent times, the Willie Mullins-Ruby Walsh double act have graced the Cheltenham winner’s enclosure on more than one occasion.

In fact, the duo have dominated the world-famous festival in the last couple of years and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Irish combination strike gold again as they put their rivals to the sword.

With the likes of Annie Power, Vautour and Vroum Vroum Mag on his books, Mullins trains some of the best horses in the industry and Walsh will be licking his lips at the prospect of winning the Cheltenham leading jockey award for the tenth time in 11 years – an incredible strike rate when you consider how many top riders are involved.

We take a look at Mullins’ top mounts and consider their chances ahead of the 2017 meeting.

Annie Power

Rich Ricci’s horse earned a place in our hearts after she suffered a horrific fall at the last fence in the Mares Hurdle in 2015 but she bounced back spectacularly this year to win the Champion Hurdle.

And if her preparations go well in the lead-up to March’s meeting, there’s absolutely no reason why she cannot defend her crown.

Except there is. Mullins is fortunate enough to train another fantastic hurdler in Faugheen – and Walsh will have a really difficult decision to make if both horses are entered into the 2017 Champion Hurdle.

Faugheen was ruled out through injury this year but he is arguably more consistent than Annie Power when fully fit. Who will come out on top? Only time will tell…


Meanwhile, Vautour cruised to victory with one of the best performances of the week in the Ryanair Chase despite making a late switch from the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Mullins opted to enter Vautour into the Ryanair after his sub-par work at home and he went on to make light work of the field in what was essentially a one-sided race.

This year, he looks destined for the Gold Cup. Whilst he fell when odds on at Aintree in April, Vautour has been working hard and Mullins will have him ready for the big race this time around.

As of September 29th, Vautour is 7/1 to win the Gold Cup in Coral’s horse racing betting odds – and punters will be flocking to back him before his odds tumble.

Vroum Vroum Mag

Walsh didn’t even have to get off the bridal as Vroum Vroum Mag produced a dominant effort to win the Mares Hurdle this year – and Mullins now has two phenomenal fillies on his hands.

Vroum Vroum Mag was backed into odds-on and she justified favouritism with a comfortable effort around the hallowed Cheltenham turf.

The decision on whether Vroum Vroum Mag runs in the Mares Hurdle or elsewhere could go right down to the wire but one thing’s for sure: she is well worth a punt at 9/4 to defend her crown in Coral’s horse racing betting odds – and it would take a brave man to back against her.

The Mullins-trained Apples Jade may be her closest rival but Vroum Vroum Mag is on another level; she will be very difficult to beat.