Friday 24 January 2020

Outlander has been giving Sonny the right vibes

Willie Mullins (left) with Paul Nicholls Photo: Julian Herbert/PA Wire
Willie Mullins (left) with Paul Nicholls Photo: Julian Herbert/PA Wire

Patrick Mullins

Saturday's near-miss in the British trainers' title at Sandown hurt more than I thought it would.

To run Paul Nicholls so close in his own backyard was a great achievement by my father, but it was still frustrating. We would like to set the record straight next year, although I don't think we will change too much.

If it's there after Cheltenham, we will give it a rattle. We learned plenty this time, and maybe it would have been wiser to have back-up for Vautour in the Melling Chase. Valseur Lido, for example, might have done a job there. Withdrawing Vroum Vroum Mag didn't go down well with the BHA. However, it was an exceptional set of circumstances, and there is simply a much more valuable and prestigious race for her at Punchestown.

My father decided that today's Boylesports Champion Chase would be less of a grueller for Vautour than tomorrow's three-miler, albeit he made that decision before Don Cossack was ruled out. This should give us a sighter for next season. Vautour is fine after his Aintree fall and we'll be disappointed if he doesn't win, although Special Tiara and God's Own are good horses.

It was an extraordinary effort by Yorkhill to win at Aintree given his antics. Dropping in trip should help and, again, it will be interesting to see how he fares with an eye on next year.

Yorkhill buried his rider at home last week so that is an indication of well he is. He should win, and Petit Mouchoir will also run well if he settles. Outlander is in particularly good form.

Sonny Carey, who rides him out, has said that he is delighted with him. The horse that beat him at Fairyhouse is a good horse. Again, if Outlander runs to form, he ought to be hard to beat.

I ride a nice horse called Jenkins in the Land Rover Bumper. Nicky Henderson is keen on him and the fact that he has had a run is a big plus.

Gordon Elliott's two might be the dangers, but hopefully Jenkins will go close, and our own Cilaos Emery could be thereabouts in the last as well. He has been working well.

Patrick's picks

3.40 Wish Ye Didnt 4.20 Yorkhill 4.55 Western Boy 5.30 Vautour 6.05 Jenkins 6.40 Outlander (nap) 7.15 Cilaos Emery

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