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Mullins aims seven at Cheltenham bumper

Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

It used to be known as the 'banker' race for an Irish-trained winner during the lean years at Cheltenham, but only nine of the 31 entries this year's Weatherbys Champion Bumper are from this side of the Irish Sea.

The two-mile event on the level has generally been the preserve of the raiders and this time Willie Mullins has entered seven horses, including Hollowgraphic, Carefully Selected and Blackbow. Gordon Elliott could run the unbeaten Felix Desjy, while Joseph O'Brien has entered Rhinestone.

Strong fancies for the home team include Nick Gifford's Didtheyleaveuoutto and the Anthony Honeyball-trained Acey Milan.

A total of 11 of the 21 entries for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase are from Ireland, including last year's hero Cause Of Causes from the Elliott yard.

Josies Orders, Auvergnat, and Bless The Wings are likely to be there again along with Urgent De Gregaine from France. Kim Bailey has entered the classy The Last Samuri, second in the 2016 Grand National.

Previous winners Pacha Du Polder and On The Fringe are among 32 entries for the Foxhunter Chase. Leading fancies Wonderful Charm and Burning Ambition are also in the field.

Mullins won the first two runnings of the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle and he has Laurina among 30 entries with Maria's Benefit also in contention.

Irish Independent

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