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Very little between Cross Country duo – Mullins

Patrick Mullins feels there is not much to choose between Scotsirish and Uncle Junior, his potential mounts in the Glenfarclas Handicap Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Scotsirish has taken the step up in trip for the cross-country events in his stride this season – although there was one blip when he was carried on to the wrong course at Cheltenham in December.

Uncle Junior will carry top weight, but won on his first attempt at the course in November.

He was then carried out in the melee a month later, when course regular Garde Champetre was the beneficiary.

“I think I have five rides this year and the Cross Country is probably my best chance, but my dad (Willie) hasn’t decided which I’m going to ride yet,” said Mullins.

“I don’t see how Scotsirish is half the price of Uncle Junior as I think there’s very little between the two of them.

“I saw a stat the other day that said Uncle Junior was the first horse since 2000 to win over the Cross Country course at the first attempt.

“There’s only 3lb between them and I don’t think that will make much of a difference as they both have very good chances.

“What happened the last day when Garde Champetre won after a few took the wrong course was in December – we’re all about March.

“I wouldn’t completely rule Garde Champetre out, though, he was only two lengths behind Scotsirish the last day at Punchestown. He’s not a complete no-hoper."