Mullins trio head Triumph Hurdle confirmations
Willie Mullins appears to have a stranglehold on the JCB Triumph Hurdle with the first three in the ante-post betting among 17 confirmations for the day four opener at the Cheltenham Festival.
Blood Destiny, who has recently overtaken stablemate Lossiemouth at the head of the betting, and Gala Marceau, who beat Lossiemouth at the Dublin Racing Festival, give Mullins a very strong hand in the juvenile event.
Comfort Zone, the winner of Grade Two events at Chepstow and Cheltenham already for Joseph O’Brien, and Gary Moore’s Bo Zenith were among those taken out.
Jipcot, a new recruit from France now with Ben Pauling, has been supplemented.
JP McManus’ new purchase Corbetts Cross, a Grade Two winner on his debut for Emmett Mullins, is among 34 left in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
Gordon Elliott’s Three Card Brag, who has been taken out of the Martin Pipe later on the card, is another leading ante-post fancy, while stablemate Favori De Champdou and Willie Mullins’ Embassy Gardens all stand their ground.
Among those taken out were Absolute Notions, Maximilian and Saint Davy.
There are 52 left in the McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle, with previous Champion Hurdle contenders Zanahiyr and Sharjah heading the weights.
Betfair Hurdle one-two Aucunrisque and Filey Bay are in the mix along with Willie Mullins’ well fancied pair of Hunters Yarn and Winter Fog.
Last year’s winner Billaway and David Christie’s pair of Vaucelet and Winged Leader head 30 left in the St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase, while in the closing Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 53 remain.
Only nine have been left in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase and they include market leaders Allegorie de Vassy and Impervious.
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