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    Perth acknowledges the quality as it is "like never before," and Willie Mullins names four runners for the Wednesday card
Perth acknowledges the quality as it is "like never before," and Willie Mullins names four runners for the Wednesday card
Willie Mullins names four runners for the Wednesday card. Source: racingpost.com

Perth acknowledges the quality as it is "like never before," and Willie Mullins names four runners for the Wednesday card

As Perth gets ready to stage one of its greatest meetings in years on Wednesday, excitement is growing at the track after Willie Mullins declared four runners on a card that included a clash between elite mares Riviere D'Etel, Malina Girl, and Apple Away.

At Perth's season opener, Mullins is aiming to secure his first British trainers' title by putting his net wide. Among the runners competing are Dr Eggman (1.50), Loughglynn (2.55), Instit (3.25), and Figaroc (3.55).

Mullins will field runners at the Scottish course for the first time in eight years. Mullins sent a team of five to the three-day meeting back in 2016 when he was competing for the title, and he came home with three winners and two seconds.

After a four-timer at Ayr on Saturday, which was highlighted by Macdermott's victory in the Scottish Grand National, he has one hand on the title this time.

£32,500 is the feature A major festival would not be out of place for Perth's listed mares' chase (3.25), where Grade 1 winner Apple Away will be up against three elite Irish competitors: Riviere D'Etel, Malina Girl, and the Mullins-trained Instit.

Although Mullins may have believed that Grade 2 winner Loughglynn would have easily defeated the Listed novice hurdle (2.55), Ruth Jefferson has ruled out 161-rated chaser Sounds Russian for another attempt at hurdle racing.

Perth's head of racing Matthew Taylor said: "The quality is there like never before, so we're really excited to kick on. We're a bit light on numbers, but Willie Mullins has declared four runners, including one in each of the three big races, so he's clearly coming to try to seal the trainers' championship. The Listed mares' chase has attracted a great cast and the Listed novice hurdle always has good horses running in it, with Giovinco and Mahler Mission successful in it in the last two years. There are some really good horses from all over, which is really good news for us, and it's probably one of the better cards we've staged in a long time."

The Perth festival is held over three days, with the Quinnbet Highland National (2.05) on the final day drawing a large number of horses from Mullins on Thursday and Friday.

"It's going to be soft ground," said Taylor. "There's a bit of wind around over the next few days, but it's quite cool and there's not really a drying forecast. Hopefully, there's small improvement day by day, but I don't expect massive changes."

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