WILLIE Mullins has farmed most races at the Cheltenham Festival as his quite frankly ridiculous haul of 94 winners suggests.
Many of the 28 races he has won more than once, with one of them being the Festival’s closing contest, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle.
Given he has won this race with the likes of Sir Des Champs, Don Poli and most recently Galopin Des Champs, it’s a race that he usually targets with a horse with huge potential and one that we’re going to be hearing about for many years to come.
In his press day earlier this week, the master of Closutton lifted the lid on plenty of his stable stars and the fact he mentioned SA MAJESTE as a potential runner for this, I thought was very interesting.
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle*
Iberico Lord 8/1
Sa Majeste 8/1
Cleatus Poolaw 12/1
*Prices from Grosvenor Sport
He didn’t say much, but what he said implied this is a horse who there is bundles more to come from.
The six-year-old was backed off the boards on his debut for the Mullins yard at last year’s Punchestown Festival but was disappointing having only finished sixth.
However, he bounced back and enhanced his lofty reputation when winning very impressively at Limerick over Christmas.
He powered past Noble Yeats that day and as he’s a leading contender for both the Stayers’ Hurdle and Grand National, the form looks solid.
Mullins knows a Martin Pipe horse when he sees one and I would be shocked if his charge doesn’t go off significantly shorter than the current 8/1 on offer with Grosvenor Sport.
Sa Majeste looks to have the ideal profile for the race and should go very well in attempting to give his handler a record-extending fifth win in the race.
Sa Majeste e/w Martin Pipe