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Mullins tips Uncle Junior as best Cheltenham Cross Country bet

| 07.03.2012

Patrick Mullins believes there is little to choose between the two market leaders for the Cross Country Chase and this makes Uncle Junior a better bet than Scotsirish at 4/1.

Mullins remains unclear as to which of the pair he will be riding for his father Willie, but believes either will represent his best chance of victory at the Cheltenham Festival from a probable five rides.

Scotsirish is the 2/1 favourite to win the cross country event and logic would suggest that he would be the most likely mount for Mullins.

Mullins was on board Scotsirish when he clashed with Uncle Junior at Cheltenham in December, although the race is hard to gauge given that the leaders took the wrong course late on, effectively handing victory to Garde Champetre.

Scotsirish was travelling particularly strongly and looked sure to feature and he was just as impressive in his only ever cross country effort when an easy winner earlier in the season at Punchestown.

Uncle Junior was ridden to victory by Mullins at Cheltenham in November, but it was Enda Mullins who took the ride in the horse’s latest run, when travelling strongly on the shoulder of Scotsirish before going the wrong way.

The big factor is that Enda has a 3lb claim and with Uncle Junior being allocated 3lb more than Scotsirish for the Festival, it would make sense that the jockey bookings are the same as in December.

There is a strong possibility that the pair will be battling out the finish as all of the seven winners of the Cross Country Chase have been trained in Ireland, while six of these were sent off at 13/2 or shorter in the Cheltenham odds.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.