Check out the latest Willie Mullins column

Willie Mullins column: Weekend preview

Our star columnist reflects on last weekend's high-profile winners and takes you through his weekend team.


12:20 Tekao

A very sharp horse, a real three-year-old hurdle type. He won on the flat, jumps fine at home but I expect him to be a little green because he hasn’t had a lot of experience racing. He only had one run on the flat so it’s a big learning curve for him over hurdles and learning how to race too but he was impressive on that one start and the form has worked out well.

He’s fit and well and could win but whatever he does on Sunday, he will improve an awful lot in the future.

12:50 Grangeclare West

Another big chasing type who won a point-to-point. He looks very promising, jumps well and will handle the ground. We’re looking forward to getting him started.

14:20 Egality Mans

He has a nice racing weight in this and is a horse who should pay his way this season. He has his chance.

14:20 Fighter Allen

Paul has picked him. Even though he’s a novice and qualified for the Drinmore we elected to come here because it’s three miles. We think it might suit him better. He should handle the track and ground. He fell on his first run in handicap company but will hopefully get on better on Sunday.

14:20 Rambranlt'jac

He’s a novice but I’m keen to get runs into him over this trip and he might be well handicapped if Brian Hayes gets the same tune out of him jumping as he did earlier in the season. He’s inclined to be a little novicey at home, but I think the slower pace and a lighter weight will be a big benefit to him.

14:50 Saint Roi

We tried to go chasing with him last season but he got a little niggle at the start of it and missed too much time, so we decided to stay over hurdles. This horse jumps very well at home, is very sharp, this trip will suit him and if he puts it together he’s an exciting prospect over the minimum trip over fences.

15:20 Williamstowndancer

She gave Bryony Frost no chance when she ducked out at Cheltenham but appeared in good form going there, has come home from it in great order and has her chance on Sunday.

Reflections on last week

I was very happy with Dinoblue at Cork last Sunday. She looked a natural over fences. She’s a mare who looks to get on with her job and once she settles a little bit can be a force over fences in the mares’ novice chase division.

I think State Man should improve a lot for his run and win in the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season with him off the back of it.

Saldier ran very well in third, I was pleased with him on his first start for a little while, but a touch disappointed with Sharjah. When it was needed after the second last it took him all day to get going, he looked like he blew up at the crucial time of the race and just needed it. The run should put him just right for Christmas back to his favourite trac kat Leopardstown.

Kilcruit couldn’t’ have done any more than he did in making a winning chase debut at Punchestown. He jumped around in second, took the lead and the horse came back at him and never changed his stride, keeping galloping and jumping to the line.

I think he’s a stronger horse than last year, when he just disappointed us a touch, and if we can keep him in this sort of form, he could have a very good season.

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