Mullins aims to get in Cheltenham mood with Sandown victory

Amateur David Dunsdon to guide Redhotfillypeppers to victory in listed bumper

It's two years since Willie Mullins heralded his record eight-winner 2015 Cheltenham festival haul with victory in Sandown's Listed Bumper the previous weekend and Ireland's champion trainer will hope Redhotfillypeppers can prove to be a similarly successful omen on Saturday.

The mother and son team of Mags and Danny Mullins team up for Martello Park in the mares contest too but much of the focus will be on Redhotfillypeppers' amateur jockey and owner David Dunsdon who will try to emulate the 2015 Mullins heroine, Babylone Des Motte.

He was also on board the eyecatchingly-named runner when she scored impressively at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve and Redhotfillypeppers still holds an entry in Wednesday’s Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

“She was named before I bought her – but whoever did name her obviously has good taste in music!” Dunsdon joked ahead of what could be the former Fegentri series champion’s biggest success.


Mullins has further widened his festival options for the remarkable mare Vroum Vroum Mag by leaving her in both the Stayers Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase on Thursday after the latest forfeit stage on Friday.

Vroum Vroum Mag is also doubly-entered on Tuesday where she could either defend her OLBG Mares Hurdle crown or go for the ultimate in the Champion Hurdle.

It’s reasonable to assume that Mullins’s champion amateur son, Patrick, has been on light rations this week ahead of his own Saturday bumper date at Gowran on board the exciting four year old Castlebrook who has 11.2 to carry.

Jimmy Mangan sold his impressive point to point winner to Alan Potts after Castlebrook scored in Tallow and although the 17.2hh youngster is still immature he get almost a stone from some smart rivals.

Foxrock is ineligible to run in Cheltenham's Foxhunters but should have little more than a profitable school in the Tetratema Cup.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column