Willie Mullins’ stable stars tune up at Cheltenham

Hurricane Fly on the gallops at Cheltenham on Sunday
Hurricane Fly on the gallops at Cheltenham on Sunday

Willie Mullins’ formidable battalion was quickly into its stride after arriving at Cheltenham ahead of the Festival.

Stan James Champion Hurdle favourite Faugheen enjoyed a breeze at the track in the hands of regular work rider John Codd, while the incredible Hurricane Fly, who will join his younger stable companion in Tuesday’s feature event, stretched his legs.

The opening day promises to be huge for the Mullins team, with the highly-touted Douvan, who was given gentle exercise by Gail Carlisle, all the rage for the opening Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Un De Sceaux is odds-on across the board for the Arkle Trophy, as is Annie Power for the OBLG Mares’ Hurdle, and they, too, were seen in action against the backdrop of Cleeve Hill.

Annie Power will face 15 rivals in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at the Festival on Tuesday.

The Mullins-trained seven-year-old brought an unbeaten record to Prestbury Park last March, but found More Of That too strong in the World Hurdle.

Although she has been off the track since winning at Punchestown early last May, Annie Power is a red-hot favourite to follow in the hoofprints of incredible former stable companion Quevega, who won this race for the past six years.

Mullins also runs Glens Melody, runner-up 12 months ago.

Nicky Henderson’s Polly Peachum heads the home team, with L’Unique and Carole’s Spirit also in the mix.

Some of Gordon Elliott’s team also took to the gallops on Sunday morning.