Willie Mullins is just six winners away from hitting a century of Cheltenham Festival wins but despite sending over as strong a team as ever, the champion trainer is taking nothing for granted.

After a dominant performance at the Dublin Racing Festival where he was responsible for all eight Grade 1 winners, Mullins is now remarkably responsible for 12 Cheltenham Festival favourites. Perhaps even more remarkable is that bookmakers make him an odds-on shot to train more winners than every British trainer combined.

100 Festival wins

“It’s not something I think anyone in racing ever thought of so I don’t know,” said Mullins. “People talked about it last year (getting to 100 Festival wins) and thought I might go by that mark last year but often getting to that mark can be very hard.

“It’s only when you go back every year – you sort of forget how hard it is to win there. Everyone is so hyped up when you get to Cheltenham so we don’t go there expecting to win. We hope to win, I always say.

“If we go there with 12 favourites it’s great. I always say any day with a winner is a good day but at least six of those will be beaten. I don’t know which ones - I’d just be delighted if six of them won, but it doesn’t always work out.

“Last year we got six (winners) but at least we got the right one (the Gold Cup) which sort of papered over the cracks, because it might have been a disappointing week otherwise.”

Galopin Des Champs will go back to defend his Gold Cup title and is actually one of the shortest priced favourite of all the Mullins favourites after a change in tactics has brought him back to life.

On him, Mullins said: “Galopin des Champs has come out of his last race very well and I am very happy. I had wanted him ridden off the pace for the two seasons before this one because he was too keen and I felt he would get drawn into a battle which didn’t happen last year.

“This year I don’t mind (how he is ridden) because he is stronger and more mature now and he will be up to it.”