Mullins v Nicholls: Busy day in race for Trainers’ Title
David Metcalf | April 21, 2016
A 1-2 for Willie Mullins in the feature novices’ hurdle at Perth yesterday reduced his deficit on British jumps Trainers’ Title race leader Paul Nicholls to £43,240.
Today could prove to be a busy day in the title race, with Mullins saddling two more runners at Perth and Nicholls responsible for 10 runners at Warwick and Exeter.
Perth – Two runners for Mullins
14.00 – Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Novices’ Hurdle (£3,899 to winner): Townsend is odds-on to provide Mullins with a dream start to the day. Needs to bounce back from a disappointing run last time out at Kempton, but is the clear pick on his best form.
16.00 – Lindsays Handicap Chase (15,640 to winner): Tennis Cap switches back to fences having won a four-runner minor contest over hurdles at Cork when last seen in action. Faces some tough opposition but does have a touch of class and looks a big player.
Warwick – Five runners for Nicholls
14.10 – Close Brothers Maiden Hurdle (£3,249 to winner): El Bandit posted a much improved effort when third last time out, and if building on that has outstanding claims in what looks a weak contest.
15.10 – Close Brothers Finance Handicap Hurdle (£7,148 to winner): The Eaglehaslanded looks a worthy favourite to follow-up an impressive success in a competitive class 2 contest at Cheltenham. Is well-in at the weights turned out quickly under a penalty and now drops into class 3 company. Stable companion Easter Day doesn’t appear to be the force of old.
15.40 – Close Brothers Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (£15,640 to winner): Stilletto was an impressive winner at Leicester prior to falling at the Cheltenham Festival last time out when well-backed. This is easier and looks capable of defying top weight.
16.40 – Close Brothers Standard Open NH Flat Race (31,624 to winner): Brio Conti makes his racecourse debut. Well-bred five-year-old and yard’s representatives in bumpers have been performing well.
Exeter – Five runners for Nicholls
16.55 – Racing UK In Glorious Hd Novices’ Hurdle (£3,249 to winner): Boa Island disappointed when pulled-up on debut for the yard and major bounce back required to land the spoils.
18.00 – Helen Tellam 50th Birthday Novices’ Handicap Chase (£5,198 to winner): Present Man proved expensive to follow over hurdles but was a winner of an Irish Point and could prove a totally different proposition on chase debut.
19.00 – Wild Beer Co Maiden Hurdle (£2,599 to winner): Black Corton was a French bumper winner who shaped as if needing the run when third on hurdles debut for the yard. Looks the type who should have plenty more to offer and a worthy favourite. Stable companion Whipcord looks one for the future when tackling handicaps.
20.00 – Goffs Spring Sales P2P Bumper (£3,165 to winner): Bill And Barn is 2-2 in points and related to a smart bumper performer. Looks an obvious type on paper and likely to take all the beating.
Current prize money totals heading into today’s action
Paul Nicholls total: £2,301,283
Willie Mullins total: £2,258,043