Mullins’ Total Recall can take it to the field in 2018 Grand National
Willie Mullins has a couple of rides in this year’s Grand National. But he’s pinning the majority of his hopes on Total Recall.
The champion Irish trainer hasn’t won the big one since 2005 when Hedgehunter hacked up famously to win.
A second success for Mullins would be welcomed with open arms. And he’s confident that Total Recall is just the ticket for the 2018 Grand National.
With a trip of over 4m and 30 fences, any winner of the Aintree showpiece must show exceptional staying power and jumping qualities. And the nine-year-old has shown he has both in abundance this season.
Mullins has stepped his charge up in trip from 2m to 3m this campaign and in doing so, it has proven to be an inspired choice.
The Irish-bred raider won impressively on his first start at the distance at Limerick in October. He beat Alpha Des Obeaux by 7l on the day to land a tidy sum of £51,000 for Team Mullins.
In December, he became the first Irish-trained winner of the Ladbrokes Trophy since 1980. The 9/2 favourite justified his place at the head of the betting with a thrilling win.
Paul Townend saddled him that day, passing Whisper in the closing stages to win a brilliant renewal at Newbury.
And if you’re into trends and variable coincidences, that Newbury win could be hugely notable. Denman, Bob’s Worth, and 2015 Grand National winner Many Clouds were also winners of the formerly-known Hennessy Gold Cup.
And the son of Westerner wasn’t finished there, either. In February at Leopardstown, he made it a trio of wins at 3m as he beat Oscar Knight into second to triumph in the William Fry Handicap Hurdle.
Despite falling in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, connections were pleased with his performance – and rightly so. He was travelling superbly well before clipping the fourth-to-last fence and going over.
That shouldn’t unduly affect him too much going into his first Grand National run. Mullins is likely to give Paul Townend the ride once again. And despite one of the top weights at 11-4, he should be a big player in this year’s renewal.
He’s already won twice this year with Total Recall and with Ruby Walsh out through injury, Townsend is the obvious choice to guide the gelding at Aintree.
And if you needed any more convincing, the Grand National trends also go in Total Recall’s favour.
Four of the last 13 winners were nine-year-olds. And three of the last eight winners have carried between 11-00 and 11-6.
There’s a certain caveat, though. And it’s when it comes down to favourite’s winning. Only six horses since 1974 have managed to justify their favouritism. If he starts at the head of the betting, it could put a dampener on punters’ hopes.
However, Mullins has massive faith in his charge and he looks to have all the attributes of a Grand National winner.
Would you like to bet on Total Recall? Check out all the latest Grand National odds at Coral!