Mullins’ Townshend To Make His Mark At Kempton
If Paul Nicholls thought he had a comfortable lead in the trainers championship going into Cheltenham, it became very clear as the week went on that this race is well and truly on and Willie Mullins is now 5/4 to win that crown when the British season ends at Sandown in April.
As the trainers championship is decided on prize-money won, Willie already suggested that he is likely to make a considerable raid on Aintree in three weeks time but prior to that Ruby Walsh and maybe even Willie himself will go home from Cheltenham via Kempton where they team up with Townshend (2/1) in the racinguk.com/hd Kempton Park Silver Plate Handicap Hurdle at 3.15.
After an incredible week at Cheltenham this horse is undoubtedly going to be shorter than he would have been if this race was run last Saturday…
but the five-year-old looks capable of making his mark.
The better ground will be a big help to the horse who had his first start for the trainer at Fairyhouse last month and the experience will have crowned him and this could be another bit of sterling to add to the coffers of Messrs Mullins, Walsh and Ricci.
David Pipe won four Midlands Nationals in a row at Uttoxeter but didn’t have a runner in the race last year when Jim Dreaper’s Goonyella led home an Irish 1-2. Pipe is back with two runners this year, the top weight Katkeau (14/1) and Standing Ovation (20/1) but Dreaper is picked to score again with 7/1 shot Sizing Coal.
As was proved a fortnight ago when Dreaper had a 1-2 in the Leinster National at Naas, his horses are in right good form at the moment and Sizing Coal looks to have had a race like this in his sights since finishing third in the Irish Grand National and he has only had one run this season and that was over hurdle at Navan last month.
Finishing third in that over 2m4f would have certainly blown away the cobwebs and they know what it takes to win this race…
and he could be yet another Irish winner on British soil this week.
*Prices correct at time of publication.