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Patrick Mullins looking forward to Facile Vega – and American Mike showdown

A Willie Mullins-trained showdown with American Mike in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper is a prospect that is exciting Patrick Mullins.

Mullins junior is set to partner Facile Vega, a son of the brilliant racemare Quevega who has looked spectacular in his two starts so far, most recently at the Dublin Racing Festival, while Redemption Day is another highly-regarded challenger for the Mullins team.

But while Facile Vega is odds-on for the March 16 showpiece, fellow crack amateur Jamie Codd has hardly been able to contain his enthusiasm for the Gordon Elliott-trained American Mike, also unbeaten in his two bumpers.

“Facile Vega obviously has the best track form, but Redemption Day mirrors everything he does at home and I think James’s Gate has a lot of improvement in him so there are plenty of good spares there,” said Mullins, who is assistant to his father.

“I think Willie’s record is usually that the favourite gets beat and one of the other ones comes and beats him! It would be nice to get a third victory in the race as I think Ruby (Walsh) has three so it would be great to equal him.

“It’s going to be an excellent race and Jamie is unusually bullish about American Mike so it will be good to go head-to-head with him up the hill.”

On the pressure of preparing for the Festival, Mullins added: “The Lord Bagenal (local pub) is definitely a huge help and we’re all very thankful that it’s back open!

“My father has been at that pinnacle now for a few years and I think my mother is very good at humouring him and we know when to walk out of the kitchen and when to be in the kitchen, so we’ve all adapted well I think.”

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