The Cook Review

What punters must learn from the Ayr action: this Willie Mullins character can train a bit

I tend to think of the betting market as something that gets sharper and better informed every year, an intimidating foe, really hard to beat. But perhaps that's baloney, considering what a mess it made of Willie Mullins' horses at Ayr on Saturday.

Mullins is a trainer of favourites. He had five odds-on winners at the Cheltenham Festival and his horses were favourite for about half of all festival races whenever I looked at those markets through the winter. He wins everything these days and punters are not generally keen to go against him.

Except on Scottish National day, it turned out. The great man had runners in all seven races at Ayr but didn't have an outright favourite until the novice hurdle and the bumper at the end of the card. Well, he'd never had a winner at the track before, had he? It's one thing to mop up all the best races at Cheltenham and Aintree, but winning races in Scotland is tougher again. . .

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Chris CookRacing Writer of the Year

inThe Cook Review