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Five Mullins horses flying under the radar for Cheltenham

Willie Mullins Closutton Stables 12 February 2024 Champion Trainer Willie Mullins facing the media Willie Mullins Closutton Stables 12 February 2024 Champion Trainer Willie Mullins facing the media
© Photo Healy Racing

Willie Mullins will, once again, be a dominant force at this year's Cheltenham Festival so Emma Nagle has taken a close look at his entries and found five of his forgotten horses.

They are well worth a second look and BoyleSports is offering you the chance to get €55 in free bets to spend over the four days.

Argento Boy

Trying to pick the best Mullins bumper horse is never easy but Argento Boy may be one who’s still being underrated. A brother of 2013 Champion Bumper winner Briar Hill, this grey son of Jukebox Jury wasn’t flashy winning in Fairyhouse but has the pedigree to improve. He was in front a long way from home that day and despite being green showed a great attitude to gallop out through the line.

Facile Vega

It may be silly to say a four-time Grade 1 winner is flying under the radar, but for a horse who is bred to be a champion and touted as a champion by his genius trainer, surely he has been written off too early by many? Unreliable may be a fair assessment, but still, Facile Vega is an undeniable talent when on song and who better than Willie Mullins to get him right on the big day in March. Targets at this stage seem open but this is a horse who’s capable of winning any of the novice chases at his best.

Saint Roi

An eight-year-old now, the one time Grade 1 winning novice may be out of his depth at that level these days, but if stepping back into handicap company at The Festival he could have an impact. Things went a bit awry in the jumping department in a Grade 1 at the DRF after he made a mistake at the fifth and seemed to lose confidence, which can be forgiven. Looking back to his last handicap start in Fairyhouse, he was quite eye-catching staying on toward the finish and has been dropped a pound since. He was given a Grand Annual entry yesterday and that looks an obvious route.


Closutton were spoiled for choice in terms of top class juvenile fillies last term, one of which was Zenta. After an abandoned chasing campaign, the five-year-old could have more to come over hurdles off a mark of 142. Lossiemouth was her only conqueror last year and although she has taken an unorthodox route to The Festival this year, her handicap debut at the Dublin Racing Festival showed plenty of promise. She also has an entry for the Grade 1 Mares Hurdle, but would be an intriguing runner in the County Hurdle.

Asian Master

Willie has such a strong hand in the novice hurdle division that it was easy to see why dual hurdle winner Asian Master is being forgotten about on the run up to The Festival. Out of a daughter of Grade 1 winning hurdler Asian Maze, the Costello family's gelding has done nothing wrong since joining Closutton at the start of the season. Slick jumping is one of his biggest assets and has shown a smart turn of foot in both hurdle starts. He looks well worthy of a place in the Supreme field and could be capable of outrunning a big price.

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About Emma Nagle
Emma grew up on a racing yard which got her involved in racing from a young age. Having worked in racing media on a freelance basis for a few years she joined irishracing.com full time in 2023. She has ridden as an amateur and still works with horses.