Willie Mullins targets Aintree reappearance for Cheltenham heroes

Mullins is lining up for a historic tilt at the British trainers' championship.

Willie Mullins targets Aintree reappearance for Cheltenham heroes

Willie Mullins' assault on a first British trainers' championship has gathered pace after the powerhouse Irish trainer earmarked a number of his Cheltenham superstars for the Crabbie's Grand National meeting at Aintree next week.

Champion Hurdle winner Annie Power is set for the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle on the opening afternoon, along with Nichols Canyon, while Gold Cup third Don Poli is heading for the Betfred Bowl on the same card.

Ryanair Chase victor Vautour is in line for the Melling Chase 24 hours later, with brilliant Arkle Trophy hero Douvan pencilled in for the Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase on National day.

Mullins, who trails Paul Nicholls in the title race by just over £150,000, said: "We will be bringing a lot of our horses to Aintree, and I just hope we get a bit of rain before then. Annie Power and Nichols Canyon both appear to be in good form and could run in the Aintree Hurdle.

"Vautour may go for the two-and-a-half-mile race and Don Poli over three miles and one. Black Hercules will be entered, Douvan could go there. They have all had it easy since Cheltenham."

He went on: "I'd be keen to run Footpad and Apple's Jade and maybe Let's Dance will go as well in the juvenile race.

"We'll have them entered and do a few little bits of work and if they all appear to be fine they'll run.

But one horse not making the journey to Liverpool is Supreme Novices' Hurdle runner-up Min, with Mullins ruling him out for the rest of the campaign.

He said: "One horse that won't be going is Min. He hasn't come out of Cheltenham well and he won't run for the rest of the season.

"It will be hard to catch Paul Nicholls but we'll give it a go!"

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