If the 2024 Cheltenham Festival will be remembered for one thing, it will be the absolute domination of Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins.

With a remarkable display of racing, his charges brought joy to millions and broke the hearts of the bookmakers as winner after winner rode home for the Closutton handler.

So now the question remains, can he do the same at Aintree in April?

The odds will always be in his favour as fans flock to back whichever horse he sends out. Much like the Chennai Super Kings in IPL match betting, people just want to back a winner. And right now, Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend are red hot.

Mullins 100 Cheltenham Winners

From his first win with Tourist Attraction in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 1995, Mullins has spent nearly 30 years racking up the winners.

But it was on March 13th, 2024, that he finally did what no other trainer before him had managed to do – win his 100th race.

It was never in doubt, the only question that remained was which race would it be in.

So with plenty of fanfare, everything was geared up for El Fabiolo, the 2/9f to just romp home in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, as winner number 100.

But this is racing, and not everything goes exactly to plan. So much so that by the fifth fence, with an epic blunder, El Fabiolo was almost out of the race.

These things happen, of course, but the bigger disappointment was that by the time Mullins did get the winner with Jasmin De Vaux in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, tv coverage had ended and almost nobody got to see it.

With no winners on day three of the festival, we all had to wait until the fourth and final day to see Mullins back in the winner’s enclosure.

It was another prosperous day. Not only did his team win the Triumph Hurdle and County Handicap Hurdle, but they also took home the biggest prize – the Gold Cup.

Galopin Des Champs did the business for back-to-back wins, crowning what was already a historic week for the Mullins camp.

Is A Repeat Success At Aintree On The Cards

Now that we’ve all had time to catch our collective breath, we turn our attention to Aintree and the potential that has to really solidify Mullins as one of the greatest trainers in living memory.

Unlike Cheltenham, the Grand National Festival is a three-day event rather than four. With seven races scheduled for each day, Mullins has 21 chances at more silverware.

Quite a lot of these races are still awaiting confirmation of their entries, so we’ll take a quick look at the three that currently have racecards.

The first is the Foxhunters Chase on Thursday, April 11th. This is going to be a relatively quiet race for Mullins, as he only has one entry in Annamix.

At antepost odds of 10/1, he is by no means the favourite. That honour goes to his nephew, Emmet Mullins, who looks set to saddle the JP McManus horse, Its On The Line, currently around 4/1 antepost.

Next up is the Topham Chase, also run over the Grand National fences. With 65 entries and a maximum field of just 30, there is much whittling to be done yet.

That said, Willie Mullins is the leading trainer in this race with eight entries. Surprisingly, none of them are favourites to win.

According to the bookies, his best chance lies with Aime Desjy at antepost odds of 16/1, a long way off the favourite Crebilly from Jonjo O’Neill.

And that takes us nicely to the 2024 Grand National.

Willie Mullins 2024 Grand National Entries

While Mullins’ success at Cheltenham is undisputed, his success in the Grand National is less than stellar.

He has only won the race once, which was back in 2005 with Hedgehunter, ridden by Ruby Walsh.

Since then, he has seen some success in the places. Hedgehunter returned in 2006 and managed second place, Pleasant Company was second in 2018, Rathvinden was third in 2019, Burrows Saint was fourth in 2021, and Gaillard Du Mesnil was third in 2023.

So for the last few years, his record has improved significantly, but he has still gone nearly 20 years without a win. So what do his prospects look like in 2024?

With 13 runners still in contention, this race could be dominated by the Irish once again. However, we should note that rarely does Mullins actually saddle more than four so expect quite a few to get withdrawn over the next few weeks.

That said, nine of his potential runners are already in the top 34 spots and guaranteed a run so anything is possible.

Of those nine, I Am Maximum is vying for joint favourite alongside Corach Rambler and Vanillier.

Meetingofthewaters, who was third in the Ultima at Cheltenham isn’t too far behind him on odds of 14/1 with Mr Incredible and Capodanno somewhere in the middle of the betting markets.

With I Am Maximus looking like his best shot, what are his chances of actually winning it?

Can I Am Maximus Win the 2024 Grand National?

Any horse that has proven itself over long distances has to be worthy of consideration. Having won the Irish Grand National last season, it’s easy to see why I Am Maximus is such an attractive proposition for punters.

The fact that he is trained by Willie Mullins will be enough of a reason to back him for many looking to have a flutter on the day.

The only thing that might hamper his chances is that although his initial weight of 11-02 was quite winnable, with Hewick seemingly out of contention, all of the weights will increase by 3 lbs, putting the McManus horse on 11-05.

Then again, Tiger Roll won in 2019 on that weight, so there’s no reason why I Am Maximus can’t either.

Whatever happens at Aintree, we have no doubt that Willie Mullins will once again head back across the pond slightly richer than he was a week earlier.