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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Dan Sheridan/INPHO Ruby Walsh on Un De Sceaux.
# Mullins Double
Hard to look past Un De Sceaux on Day 2 at Leopardstown
Willie Mullins seven-year old looks the festival banker.

AS ANYONE WHO watched their four-fold accumulator go up in flames when Annie Power fell while leading at the last in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham earlier this year can testify, the word ‘banker’ really shouldn’t exist in national hunt racing.

However, on Day Two of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, Un De Sceaux looks as close to a sure thing as you can get over fences in Sunday’s feature Grade One Paddy Power ‘App’ Chase at 1.15pm.

Willie Mullins’ seven-year old scooped a trio of Grade Ones at this venue, Cheltenham and Punchestown last season with an average winning margin of eight lengths.

Indeed, a fall on his chase debut is really the only blot on Un De Sceaux’s copybook but odds of 1/3 may put off casual punters.

Course and distance winner at the 2014 festival, Clarcam (8/1), will offer some each-way value but, with two defeats to his rival already, only a jumping mistake from the favourite is likely to see the Gordon Elliott-trained five-year old first past the post.

Ruby Walsh on Long Dog holds off the challenge from Paul Townsend on Bachasson to win Morgan Treacy / INPHO Ruby Walsh on Long Dog holds off the challenge from Paul Townsend on Bachasson to win last time out. Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

The day’s other Grade One contest, the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (1.45pm), will see Willie Mullins look to make it a double as Long Dog (13/8) tries to build on his Grade One Novice Hurdle win at Fairyhouse at the end of November.

On that day, Ruby Walsh had to use all his experience to edge out Bachasson (7/2) — also trained by Mullins — but there’s no reason to think the form can’t be reversed this time around.

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Bleu Et Rouge (12/1) and Petit Mouchoir (10/1) also run for Mullins but Gordon Elliott’s Tombstone (10/1), Jessica Harrington’s Woodland Opera (16/1) look set to ensure the Carlow-based trainer won’t have it all his own way while Falcon Crest (4/1) also defends an unbeaten record over timber.

The seven race card gets under way at 12.10pm.

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