Tony Mullins is relishing the prospect of saddling exciting youngster Aranleigh in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.
Having defeated the highly-regarded Mad Fish on debut, the five-year-old was quickly snapped up by the legendary JP McManus.
And while money continues to pour in for his vanquished rival ahead of the March 14 contest, Mullins sees no reason why his charge will not come out on top again.
“It’s hard to understand how people keep lorrying money onto Mad Fish as I thought we beat him well and we have definitely not dis-improved,” he said.
“He’s on target for the bumper but he was supposed to work at Leopardstown after racing yesterday and that was cancelled.
“I want to work him on grass if possible but it’s been a swamp over here so at the moment we are planning to work him at the Curragh on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, although the work will do us fine it might not tell us much.
“Yesterday we were going to be able to work against some other people’s horses and I have nothing to work him with tomorrow.”
Although Aranleigh has not been seen since his five-length success in January, Mullins has been delighted with his preparation.
“Things have been perfect with him since Fairyhouse. Everything has gone exactly according to plan and he’s been perfect all through,” he added.
“He’s from the family of Gala’s Image and he won the (1987) Arkle so there is speed in him even though he is a full 17 hands.
“He’s a huge horse but he’s a delight to train – he doesn’t pull and seems to be perfect so far.”
Aranleigh is currently on offer at 8-1 with totesport to enhance an already-impressive record of Irish-trained raiders in the Champion Bumper.