Willie Mullins takes massive bite out of Gordon Elliott's lead but Cullentra handler still a firm favourite
Un De Sceaux's defeat in today's BoyleSports Champions Chase may have cost Willie Mullins around €100,000 in prizemoney but the Closutton handler still managed to take a big chunk out of Gordon Elliott's lead in the race to be champion trainer.
Elliott's lead has gone from around €400,000 to just under €260,000 and we still have four days remaining.
His one-two in The Herald Champion Novice hurdle, which saw his third string horse Cilaos Emery lower the colours of Supreme Novice hurdle runner-up Melon, netted €79,000 and he had the added bonus of seeing Elliott come away from the first grade one of the festival with nothing when his Cheltenham hero Labaik refused to race.
Pique Sous earned Mullins a further €3,000 by coming fourth in the Kilashee Handicap Hurdle before he netted €57,500 in the feature race thanks to Un De Sceaux ( €50,000 for second) and Ballycasey (€7,500 for fifth).
Katie Walsh produced a forceful ride on Hollowgraphic in the Goffs Land Rover bumper to win €20,000 for coming second behind Robert Tyner's Vision Des Flos.
Veinard (sixth in the Kilashee Handicap Hurdle) and A Toi Phil (Fourth in the Growise Champion Novice Chase) added to Elliott's tally and so to did Roaring Bull's victory in the bumper.
Roaring Bull's win added €9,240 and Stooshie in fifth earned €375.
It means that Mullins has €3,806,625 in total compared to Elliott's €4,066,280, meaning that Mullins needs to bridge a gap of €259,655 in four days to make it 10 titles in a row.
Both men have a lot of leading chances tomorrow and it looks like this race could go right to the wire.
Mullins has been cut to 5/2 after today's exploits with Elliott now 2/7.