Carter McKay to lead Willie Mullins’ charge in Champion Bumper
Mullins has won Cheltenham race eight times and has five entries next month
Carter McKay is current favourite for the Champion Bumper. Photograph: PA
Carter McKay will spearhead Willie Mullins’ team of five from the 36 entries in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper as the trainer looks for an incredible ninth win in the Cheltenham Festival race.
Carter McKay is owned by Sheikh Fahad’s Pearl Bloodstock Ltd and has scored at Leopardstown and Naas.
“Carter McKay goes there, Ballyward pulled a muscle the other day, so we’ll see how that comes out,” said Mullins, who was forced to rule ante-post favourite Getabird out of the race.
“Next Destination goes there and I’ve entered the two fillies Red Hot Filly Peppers and Mystic Theatre, so we’ll see what happens.
“Carter McKay could look the one on his form of the last day. He’d been doing nice work at home before Naas and his performance was better than I hoped, but you don’t go expecting performances like that.
“That performance would compare to anything. A horse that can win around Naas doing that is a fair machine. I wonder if Joseph’s (O’Brien, West Coast Time) horse ran up to speed.
“Next Destination works well and Ballyward is fine, if he recovers from the pulled muscle.”
Western Ryder, West Coast Time and Debuchet are others in the mix.