Mullins has high hopes for Appreciate It

Cheltenham Festival: Mullins has high hopes for Appreciate It

One of the big talking points on day one of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival is can anyone stop Honeysuckle from winning the Champion Hurdle once again?

Henry De Bromhead’s charge has won all 14 of her races to date and is back at Prestbury Park to defend the title she won convincing last year, beating Sharjah by six-and-a-half lengths.

It’s no surprise then that the eight-year-old is 8/11 to win this year’s Champion Hurdle (15:30), but there are a couple who will fancy their chances of ending Honeysuckle’s run.

One of those is Appreciate It, ridden by Paul Townend, who goes into Tuesday’s race having won his last four starts – including the 2021 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Willie Mullins is certainly up beat about the chances of his horse, who is returning to the track for the first time since his win at the Festival last year.

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Speaking about Appreciate It, who can be backed at 4/1, Mullins stated: “He’s been doing everything right at home under David Casey, who is his work-rider all the time.

“He’s very happy with him and I’m happy with what I’m seeing. I hope he’s done enough work and we’re happy that he has – we couldn’t get much more work into him.”

The trainer added: “He’s schooled well and at home he’s doing all the right things. He’s a sensible horse and shouldn’t be fazed on the day.”

Gordon Elliott’s Teahupoo is another who is expected to run a big race, with the five-year-old running at Cheltenham for the first time.

Winner of a Grade 2 contest at Limerick in December, Teahupoo is available to back at 9/1 to claim Grade 1 success on Tuesday.

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Author: Paula Allen