Accumulators never come up trumps, they say. Accumulators are for the dreamers, they say.
But when Willie Mullins and the Cheltenham Festival are in town, dreams can become reality.
Irish trainer Mullins has a stranglehold on the greatest show on turf to a degree that we haven’t seen before. He banged home eight winners at the Festival last year with a string of horses that will be around for the next three or four years to come.
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The master from Closutton now has the Cheltenham Festival as the destination where his stable stars are trained to peak at. Who knows how many winners he’ll have this year? Double figures? When you look at his string, it’s possible.
Ante-post accumulators are tricky game to turn into profit, but those that had Douvan, Un De Sceaux, Faugheen, Vautour and Don Poli last year in an acca, all of whom where favourites for their races, will undoubtedly tell you from their holiday home in the Bahamas that nailing a Mullins ante-post accumulator is possible with a little bit of luck of logic.
We’ve had a go ourselves and have come out the other side with this 52/1 Willie Mullins acca involving four horses that should keep us dreaming throughout the winter. You’ve got to have hope. Without it, you’ve got nothing.
ANNIE POWER – MARES HURDLE 5/4
Oh, slap my behind and call me Betty.
That final hurdle fall last season in the Mares Hurdle.
The bookmakers have never dodged such a bullet. She was home and hosed but for that fall and the bookies would have been done for £30m in Mullins opening day multiples. It still gives me goosebumps watching that race. But we must move on, and all being well Annie Power looks rock solid once again to stroll up on the first day and breeze past her inferior opposition.
FAUGHEEN – CHAMPION HURDLE 15/8
The machine is expected to have improved over the summer, according to the Mullins stable.
That, along with the fact that his jumping will undoubtedly be tightened up too, makes him is frightening prospect for all his Champion Hurdle rivals. Lost his unbeaten run at Punchestown in the Morgian Hurdle Nov 14th but there’s little doubt Mullins will have him primed for Cheltenham.
Something will have to improve beyond all recognition to stop this beast doing exactly what he’s done in the last two Festivals: power up the Cheltenham hill to victory. Get the value while you can.
UN DE SCEAUX – CHAMPION CHASE 5/4
This division is crying out for a superstar and Mullins has the perfect candidate.
Last year’s Arkle winner has the two mile chase division at his hooves and the fact the next best in the market is the distinctly average Dodging Bullets at 6/1 sums up just what a winnable race that is shaping up to be. Un De Sceaux has the speed, jumping ability and course form to absolutely dot up in this race on the Wednesday.
VAUTOUR – RYANAIR CHASE 4/1
Ok, this is where you’ll have to take a bit of a leap of faith. Vautour is being primed for a Gold Cup campaign, but there are a few factors that make me think that the Ryaniar is his likely destination.
1) Question marks over his stamina after he gets beat in the King George
2) The sheer uncompetitive nature of this race compared to the Gold Cup
3) Don Poli should end up the Mullins number one for the main event.
This price is one of the juiciest out there in the ante-post markets and those brave enough should throw it into your accumulator.
Those with smaller genitalia should perhaps just play the treble that pays 9/1. Your call, comrades.