Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh carry Irish punting hopes ahead of Cheltenham

Betting is against Irish-trained horses beating last year’s record-breaking tally of 14 victories

Ruby Walsh: is 4 to 7 favourite to be leading jockey at the festival for the eighth time in 11 years. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Ruby Walsh: is 4 to 7 favourite to be leading jockey at the festival for the eighth time in 11 years. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Punters appear to think Irish-trained horses will do well at the Cheltenham festival but are betting against last year’s record-breaking tally of

14 victories for the visitors getting even better next week.

Last year was the first time Irish-trained horses out-scored the hosts in terms of races won (14-13). But the RaceBets firm report the most interest in the always popular market this time has ranged between nine and 11 winners which is just 11 to 8. Between 12 and 14 winners has also been cut to 11 to 4.

However, the price on 15 or more winners has drifted to 7-1.

It isn’t a horse but a trainer who is reported to be the “nap” option for many punters.


Champion trainer
Willie Mullins is the main driving force behind Ireland’s hopes,” said RaceBets spokesman, Joseph Burke. “People have really latched on to him to be leading trainer again and he has been backed from an opening show of 8

to 11 all the way down to the current offer of 2 to 5. He has taken over the mantle of ‘Irish nap.’ ”

Mullins’s stable jockey Ruby Walsh is a 4 to 7 favourite to be leading jockey at the festival for the eighth time in eleven years.

In other festival news, Dermot Weld is confident Silver Concorde will line up in next week’s Weatherbys Champion Bumper but describes his other entry, Vigil, as only “50-50”.

“I’ve got to make my mind up this week. Silver Concorde is pretty definite to run. I would say he’s a good ground horse, he’s . . . a pretty definite runner.

“With regards to Vigil, I’m undecided. I had a hold up with him after he won at Leopardstown. He was a bit sore across his back, and I’ve been very easy on him since then. He’s 50-50.”

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