Willie Mullins’ latest superstar-in-waiting Tell Us More is amongst the favourites for three Cheltenham Festival events, and heads the market for the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at 7/1, but the unbeaten Gigginstown animal faces his toughest test yet at Naas.
The Grade One Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle features three horses with higher Racing Post Ratings than the son of Scorpion, with fellow unbeaten six-year-old Free Expression, for trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey A P McCoy, also well liked at 14s for the Neptune.
Mullins has three in the 13.30, all for Gigginstown, with Ruby Walsh aboard a horse who has won three of his last four races in Killer Crow.
However, Tell Us More has Gigginstown retained jockey Bryan Cooper aboard, and the vibes from Mullins’ yard suggests there’s a helluva lot to come from this beast, who gets our nap of the card.
Walsh looks likely to have a winner on his hands in the previous race at 13.00 with Mullins and Ricci family inmate Blood Cotil, who chased home 8/1 JLT Novices’ Hurdle fancy Gilgamboa at Navan in November.
Blood Cotil is due a break, having failed in four attempts since beating high-class stablemate Diakali at Auteuil 18 months ago.
Robert Tyner’s 10-year-old Whatwillwecallher is a fascinating candidate in the 14.30, especially with McCoy steering her, as the in-form Cork handler hasn’t sent this mare out for over three years due to injury.
Tyner’s charge had won four of her six starts under rules up until November 2011, on ground ranging from good to heavy, so it will be intriguing to see how she goes under the greatest jumps jockey in history for the first time.
Speaking of greats, Flat maestro Aidan O’Brien sends out Kalopsia in the last, a bumper filled to the brim with newcomers.
The king of Ballydoyle has had his fair share of National Hunt success over the years, most notably with three-time Cheltenham Champion hurdler Istabraq, so this four-year-old should be kept an eye on at 15.30.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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