22 April 2024

El Fabiolo and Gaelic Warrior among Mullins Sandown entries

22 April 2024

Willie Mullins has entered both El Fabiolo and Gaelic Warrior at Sandown on Saturday, as he leaves no stone unturned in his attempt to be crowned champion trainer in the UK for the first time.

With £170,000 up for grabs in the bet365 Celebration Chase, Mullins has every base covered with the winners of the last two renewals of the Arkle at Cheltenham.

Appreciate It, Dysart Dynamo and Saint Sam could all run for Mullins, who has made 25 entries on the card overall, while current champion chaser Captain Guinness holds an entry for Henry de Bromhead.

In what could potentially be one of the races of the season, Jonbon, Editeur Du Gite and Edwardstone are among the 14 possibles, in which Mullins’ nearest rival Dan Skelton has entered Nube Negra and his new recruit from Ben Pauling, Harper’s Brook.

A late decision is expected on Gaelic Warrior, with Joe Chambers, racing manager for his owners Susannah and Rich Ricci, explaining he is unlikely to be supplemented for the Champion Chase at Punchestown.

“We’re crawling forward day by day and fully expected him to be entered. We’ll see how things are looking on Thursday morning,” Chambers told the Nick Luck Daily podcast

“We’re not in the Champion Chase at Punchestown, only the novice race, and it’s 30,000 euros to supplement, which doesn’t appeal.

“Willie has always kept novices to novices, unless there has been the odd exception. I would have thought winning the Scottish National would make him run less rather than more, but I could be absolutely wrong, I haven’t a clue what they are thinking.

“He’d be a fair sight, I’d love to see him personally going two miles there, it’s right-handed but whether he goes there or not, it’s going to be very much later in the week.”

We are thinking we're going to Sandown, that's the plan at the moment

Nicky Henderson’s Jonbon is in at Punchestown but Sandown is his preferred destination.

“We are thinking we’re going to Sandown, that’s the plan at the moment, we’re just a little concerned he’s had to start watering quite early. As long as it is safe,” said Henderson.

“We did the two (Aintree and Sandown) last year, so it pricked our ears to it again. Punchestown is an option but I’d rather not be travelling, as it would be safer to stay in England, to be honest.”

In the bet365 Oaksey Chase, Ahoy Senor is among 17 entries, along with Henry de Bromhead’s Journey With Me and Patrick Neville’s The Real Whacker.

Paul Nicholls’ Threeunderthrufive is left at the top of the weights for the bet365 Gold Cup, as the current champion retains a slim hope of retaining his title.

Last year’s winner Kitty’s Light remains in contention after his brave run in the Grand National, with Le Milos carrying the flag for Skelton.

Mullins has left in four, with Nick Rockett and Minella Cocooner his main hopes.

Impaire Et Passe and Langer Dan could meet again in the bet365 Select Hurdle, in which Skelton has also entered My Drogo.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox