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More Mullins mayhem at Cheltenham leads our 2016 specials

| 31.12.2015

A New Year warrants plenty of enticing prices to invest in some long running racing specials, and our traders are in no mood to disappoint.

As Big Ben chimes to welcome in 2016, Ladbrokes have released a whole host of prices on various happenings in the world of equine sport, ranging from a Mullins masterclass at Cheltenham to Hayley Turner delivering a faultless paso doblé.

There are more than 20 special events priced up here, but we’d thought we give you a run through of some of those that have particularly caught our eye.

The Cheltenham Festival may be but two-and-a-half months away, but the sight of those pink Rich Ricci silks will have our traders recoiling in fear after their near miss of 2015.

And while they are prepared to offer odds of 16/1 on Willie Mullins firing a blank on the opening day this time round, it is with the Closuttton handler that the value could lie.

Mullins completed the double of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Neptune Novices’ Hurdle in 2014 with Vautour and Faugheen, but has not yet won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

With the likes of Yorkhill and Petit Mouchoir he could yet have the ammo to land a novice hurdle treble at Prestbury Park, with the bookies offering odds of 16/1 on such a feat.

The County Clare trainer could also hold the key in the 1/2 on offer that the Champion Bumper prize heads back to Ireland.

A handler based on the Emerald Isle has taken the prize in 16 of the 23 runnings, and with Mullins himself landing eight renewals, it could be wise to go with the form this time as well.


Fast forward three weeks and it is the spruce-topped monsters that are the Grand National fences that come into play.

Even though it will not be Sir AP McCoy that will be wearing them, it could be wise to expect the green and gold silks of JP McManus to be fairly prominent in the betting.

The owner often has multiple runners in the Aintree contest and with the shortest of them returning no bigger than 12/1 in each of the last eight runnings, the 10/1 that he owns the winner could be a nice price.

He’s had a horse finish in the first quintet in four of the five renewals since Don’t Push It landed the race in 2010, so could be due another winner on Merseyside.


Our thoughts turn to the flat in May with the Guineas weekend providing the first two Classics of the season.

The master of Ballydoyle, Aidan O’Brien has taken one of the quintet of Britain’s biggest racing in each of the last years, but never has he won all five in the same calendar year.

He had all four safely tucked up in his locker in 2012, heading to Doncaster for the Ladbrokes St Leger, and saddled Camelot bidding for the clean sweep and the Triple Crown at the same time.

Unfortunately for both, Enke stood between them and denied both the trainer and the horse that little bit of history.

Ladbrokes go 50/1 that O’Brien wins all five of the British Classics and 33/1 a horse takes the Triple Crown on these shores for the first time in 42 years.


Glances are cast overseas in October with the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp taking the flat season into its latter stages.

Frankie Dertori guided the fantastic Golden Horn at the Paris track in 2015, taking his tally to four wins in the historic race.

If he can claim a fifth victory on the banks of the Seine next time around, not only will he become the winningmost jockey in the race, but will also land the 8/1 special for him to claim victory.


Not all of our specials will be fought out and delivered on the track though.

In 2015 racing bade farewell to both Hayley Turner and AP McCoy as the pair hung up their breeches for the final time.

The latter may be blessing our screens with his presence on Channel 4 Racing, but Ladbrokes go 25/1 that the Ulsterman will be shedding weight, not for a big race ride, but through starvation in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in 2016.

For Turner, though, we are predicting that she is more likely to be enjoying a Jitterbug rather than a wichetty grub as we offer 10/1 that the former flat jockey will be donning her dancing shoes in Strictly Come Dancing in the New Year.

So what are you waiting for? Salsa your way to the full list of 2016 racing specials by clicking here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.