Cheltenham Festival

Low crowds, classy Cobden and Mullins-Elliott dominance - key Cheltenham Festival talking points

You Wear it Well wins the Jack de Bromhead Mares' Novices' Hurdle under Gavin Sheehan
There were plenty of talking points at this year's Cheltenham FestivalCredit: GROSSICK RACING

Mullins gets his big guns to peak

One of the persistent themes coming into this Cheltenham Festival was the depth of the Willie Mullins squad and the consequent difficulty for Paul Townend in picking the right horse in several of the key contests. 

Indeed Townend must have come away from the Dublin Racing Festival last month with plenty of food for thought, having been beaten at short odds aboard Lossiemouth, Appreciate It, Blue Lord and Facile Vega. Of course, Mullins was still responsible for the winner of all four of those races at Leopardstown, with nephew Danny profiting on three occasions and Daryl Jacob also cashing in with El Fabiolo. 

At the end of four frantic days in the Cotswolds, Danny Mullins left empty handed, while Townend was once again crowned leading rider with five wins, all earned in Grade 1s. Of those, both Lossiemouth and Energumene were bouncing back from defeat. While much of the punditry has revolved around the performance of Townend in the heat of battle, what is undeniable is that his boss is without peer at managing that time between the DRF and Cheltenham. And how often does Mullins get his choice of targets wrong?

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Racing Post staff
Published on 18 March 2023Last updated 20:01, 18 March 2023