Willie Mullins: State Man's Irish Champion Hurdle win seal trainer's festival clean sweep

State Man's successful defence of the Irish Champion Hurdle completed Willie Mullins' clean sweep of the eight Grade One races at the Dublin Festival
State Man will next be in action when he takes on Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham Festival

State Man's Irish Champion Hurdle win sealed Willie Mullins' total dominance of the Dublin Festival as the trainer won all the meeting's Grade One races.

Mullins star justified his 2-5 price by repeating his 2023 win as he was over five lengths clear of Bob Olinger.

State Man will next aim to dethrone Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

Ballyburn, El Fabiolo and Fact To File also won on Sunday to complete Mullins' clean sweep of the eight Grade Ones.

The weekend feat was achieved at odds of nearly 6,505-1 as Mullins' army of equine superstars produced an ominous display in advance of the Cheltenham Festival.

Sunday's triumph came after a Saturday to remember for Mullins as Paul Townend rode Galopin Des Champs to victory in the Irish Gold Cup after the trainer's nephew Danny Mullins had clinched the stable's three earlier Grand One triumphs which includes a success on Il Etait Temps in the Irish Arkle.

State Man in 'tip top order' - Mullins

Since falling on his first start for Willie Mullins at this track in December 2021, State Man has been the dominant force in the division in Ireland, winning nine of his next 10 outings.

His only defeat during that period came at the hands of Nicky Henderson's Constitution Hill, who proved nine lengths too strong in the Champion Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival.

Despite State Man's successful defence of the Irish Champion Hurdle, Constitution Hill remains a strong favourite for going into Cheltenham but Mullins was happy with his horse's Leopardstown performance after another accomplished ride from Paul Townend.

"We have our chance, State Man is out and racing and is going to go there in tip-top order. It's all to play for," said the trainer.

"Everything is open. They (the connections of Constitution Hill) are not going to be too worried and they'll be confident enough they have enough in the locker to beat us no matter what we do."

Paul Townend clinched another Grade One success for Willie Mullins aboard El Fabiolo
El Fabiolo enhanced his favouritism for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham by clinching a dominant victory in the Dublin Chase

El Fabiolo produced hugely impressive form in advance of his Queen Mother Champion Chase challenge at Cheltenham by clinching an eight-and-a-half length over another Mullins horse Dinoblue in the Dublin Chase.

Mullins' horse remains an odds-on favourite to clinch a third successive triumph for the trainer in the Cheltenham race after the back-to-back wins of the currently sidelined Energumene.

Townend was on board for El Fabiolo's triumph and after earlier riding Ballyburn to success in the Novice Hurdle as the 10-11 favourite finished seven lengths ahead of Slade Steel.

Fact to File, ridden by Mark Walsh, secured a 6-4 triumph for Mullins in Sunday's opening Ladbrokes Novice Chase after the trainer's 4-7 favourite Gaelic Warrior unseated Townend at the final obstacle.

Gaelic Warrior already appeared to be struggling but his mishap allowed Fact to File to coast to an emphatic victory.