Mullins plays down chances of winning trainers’ title

Un De Sceaux hot favourite to make Ascot history in Clarence House Chase

Willie Mullins: trails Gordon Elliott by over half a million euro in the trainers’ championship. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Willie Mullins: trails Gordon Elliott by over half a million euro in the trainers’ championship. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Willie Mullins has played down his chances of again beating Gordon Elliott to the trainers’ title.

Mullins eventually overhauled his rival by less than €200,000 in an epic battle for last season’s championship that went down to the final day of the season.

Elliott has again set the title pace this season and with a lead of over €500,000 he is rated at 4-6 favourite by Powers to deny Mullins (11-10) an 11th championship in a row.

“We’ll keep at it but it’s looking tough at the minute. It’s a different narrative this year, and a different challenge,” said Mullins who insisted on Monday he is the underdog in this title race.

“We’ve never been this far behind before so it’s going to be tough,” he added.

Mullins’s immediate big-race focus will be on this Saturday’s Royal Salute Whiskey Clarence House Chase at Ascot where Un De Sceaux will try to become the first horse to win the Grade One contest three times.

Un De Sceaux won the race at Cheltenham in 2017 when it was switched there a week after Ascot had been deemed unraceable.

The dual-Cheltenham festival winner’s weekend opposition could include the novice Brain Power and the former Kerry Lee-trained Kylemore Lough who is now with Harry Fry.

Un De Sceaux, winner of the Hilly Way at Cork on his last start, was made a 4-7 favourite with some firms after Monday’s forfeit stage.

One possible opponent is the in-form handicapper Speredek whose trainer Nigel Hawke reported: “We’re looking at it. Obviously there’s one horse [Un De Sceaux] in there but we’ve got to consider it.

“It’s a likely small field, the horse is fit and well, there’s prizemoney down to sixth and he’s only got so many options. You should never be afraid of just one horse.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.