Willie Mullins versus Gordon Elliott in Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse
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By Racinguk.com staff
Willie Mullins is mob-handed in his bid to finally win the Grade One Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
With a total prize fund of 100,000 euro up for grabs, Mullins launches a five-pronged assault in an attempt to reduce the deficit on this year’s title race leader Gordon Elliott, who fields the other four runners in the race.
Watch how Shattered Love won at the Cheltenham Festival
Paul Townend partners Invitation Only, who was still in contention when almost coming to grief four fences from the finish in the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and was swiftly pulled up.
Al Boum Photo, the mount of David Mullins, looked booked for a place until falling at the second-last in the RSA Insurance Chase.
The Closutton quintet is completed by course winner Saturnas (Mark Walsh), Montalbano (Robbie Power) and Up For Review (Danny Mullins).
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: “Both Invitation Only and Al Boum Photo came out of Cheltenham well and I suppose the upside of what happened to both of them is they didn’t have hard races.
“There’s not much between the two of them on form and hopefully they’ll both be involved at the business end.
“Saturnas is a course winner, which is a plus, and he’s a Grade One winner over hurdles, so he’s entitled to take his chance.
“Montalbano didn’t complete at Thurles last week, but seems well since so he’ll run, too.
“Up For Review improved hugely from his first run over fences to his second run and we’re expecting him to improve again.”
The field is completed by four Elliott-trained runners, headed by JLT heroine Shattered Love, who will be ridden by Jack Kennedy.
The Cullentra handler also saddles The Storyteller (Davy Russell), who claimed the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at Cheltenham, Tombstone and Tycoon Prince.
Paddy Power make Elliott 8-15 to win the Irish trainers’ title, with Mullins 6-4.
Paul Binfield, spokesman for Paddy Power, said: “We currently think Gordon, who is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the Irish National with 13 of the 30 declared combatants, has the championship sewn up, but it takes a brave individual to bet against Willie and Fairyhouse’s Easter Festival will be absolutely crucial in this fascinating battle royale.”