Templegate tips as Willie Mullins tackles France looking for two big Grade 1s on Sunday
TEMPLEGATE has donned his beret and caught the ferry over to Paris for some top quality jumps action on Sunday.
Our man takes a look at the two big races from Auteuil where Willie Mullins goes over with a typically strong squad.
Mullins is mob-handed over in FranceSportsfile
GRAND STEEPLE-CHASE DE PARIS (3.05 Auteuil)
NOBLE YEATS should be tailormade for the Grand Steeple-Chase De Paris at Auteuil on Sunday.
The 2022 Grand National winner has held his own at the highest level again this season.
He was a good fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup before making a good fist of defending his Grand National crown at Aintree.
He got better as that marathon went on and was gaining on the front three at the line.
This is a real test of stamina over 3m6f in going that is certain to be testing.
Emmet Mullins’ hope has form in deep ground and we know he’ll keep going.
Carriacou looks a threat. He won this as a young horse way back in 2019 and was second in 2021.
He has been lightly raced for the past couple of seasons but was good enough to win a Listed contest over hurdles last time.
His liking for this challenge will be an asset.
Willie Mullins runs Franco De Port and Carefully Selected.
The latter would seem to have the best chance despite his poor showing in the Grand National last time.
He stays further than three miles and soft ground is right up his street.
PRIX ALAIN DU BREIL HURDLE (4.20 Auteuil)
Willie Mullins can take this nice prize with ZARAK THE BRAVE.
He started his career in France but has really progressed since moving to the Irish champion.
He kicked off with a juvenile win at Fairyhouse in November before going close in a Grade 3 contest there.
He left that form well behind when reappearing at the Punchestown Festival last month for an excellent second in the Champion Four-Year-Old Trophy behind the high-class Lossiemouth.
It doesn’t look like he’ll face anything of that quality here and he’s the one to beat.
Stablemate Gala Marceau was third in that hot Punchestown contest and has every chance of finishing in the money.
Enjoy The Dream completes a strong Irish challenge for Andrew McNamara.
He was fifth at Punchestown and there’s no reason why he should turn that form around with the Mullins pair.