Willie Mullins’ lowdown on Saturday Dublin Racing Festival runners

Willie Mullins on his team for Saturday's Grade 1 races at the 2021 Dublin Racing Festival.

Gaillard Du Mesnil,Stattler, Blue Lord, Ganapathi, Shadow Rider, N'golo, Finest Evermore – Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors 50k Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff' Novice Hurdle (1.05)

Gaillard Du Mesnil – The horse that won yesterday he beat well so the race is working out fine. It's good, everything is going well.

I think a lot of our horses were probably needing the run big time (on seasonal debut) at that stage. I'd rather the race was two-and-a-half to be honest.. He was a little keen with Paul (Townend) but I think he'll settle a lot better now after getting that run out of his system.

Stattler – He just wasn't right for Thurles. He's back right again. I think so (step up in trip a positive). He will probably be better over three miles.

Blue Lord – We will try different tactics with him. He had a tough race that day (on January 13). We will see how he works during the week, we will have a look at him then. I won't commit him yet.

Ganapathi – I put that (runner-up to Dreal Deal on January 17) down to a professional racehorse meeting a real novice. He met the last hurdle and he didn't know what to do it if you look at the re-run. I'm hoping there's going to be a good bit of improvement in Ganapathi.

Shadow Rider – I think he's a horse that's improving. For some reason he's very green. He looks like a horse that could improve a good bit I think.

N'golo – I'm going to have a good think about running him in this race. We might just let him take his chance over this trip.

Finest Evermore- I think we will probably wait. We might have another option for her in the next fortnight.

Chacun Pour Soi, Min, Tornado Flyer – Ladbrokes Dublin Chase (1.35)

We got a run into him down at Cork and that paid off well. I think he's in great shape.

I'm hoping he will be just himself in that race. We still have Min there and we still have Tornado Flyer there.

We might let Min take his chance, I think he will probably take his chance but we haven't fully decided which direction we are going with Tornado Flyer yet.

We will see how he works during the week.

Bryan Cooper rode him in the John Durkan, he said to bring him back in trip to two miles. I ran him in the three mile race at Christmas and he jumped so badly early on and I thought it was a really good run considering what he did over the first mile.

I will see what way the two races shape up.

Energumene, Franco De Port, Unexcepted – Patrick Ward & Company Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase (2.10)

He (Energumene) looks a natural chaser.

He easily went back to two miles so I think he has to take his chance here.

Of course we will have Franco De Port in the race as well who won at Christmas but was he a lucky winner? We don't know. They went off at a ferocious gallop that day.

Unexcepted is a very good horse over two miles as well so it will be interesting to see if he turns up and he has a very forward style of running.

Sharjah, Saint Roi, Saldier – Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle (3.15)

I'm very happy with them. I'm hoping that Saldier will run a lot better than he did at Christmas. He seemed to need it.

Saint Roi was a little disappointing but I think he will improve on that too and of course Sharjah doesn't need to improve.

I just hope he doesn't do what he did last year and make a mistake at the first hurdle down the back which just threw him completely for the rest of the race.

I wasn't surprised at the turn of foot he has (Sharjah last time out), we know he has that but I was probably surprised at how well he was travelling.

My eye was drawn more towards Saint Roi and then to see him coming up I thought 'wow this fellow is really travelling' so I was happy to see that.

He definitely did (Saint Roi performed below expectations). So I don't know whether it was our tactics or whether he just wasn't right on the day but we were expecting a much better performance, hoping I suppose maybe the right word.

Some horses have their off days you know.

Going back to the day he fell at the last at Naas (Saldier) against Espoir D'Allen, that sort of form I think puts him right into the Champion Hurdle picture but we have to get him back to that type of form and we haven't got there yet. We're still a good bit off that.

We think he is improving but he's going to need to improve a good bit more to win this race next Saturday.

We are trying to work a fine line between keeping him sound, he's had his issues and so far touch wood he has been very good this winter.

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