TOTAL RECALL is poised to run a big race in the Unibet Irish Gold Cup on Sunday. As ever Willie Mullins is mob handed with four entries standing, and we know from experience that each Closutton runner will be primed, locked and loaded and it often pays to look beyond the obvious. How often does the "wrong" Mullins horse win - quite a few times at Cheltenham down the years and need we mention the last Punchestown Festival where it seemed to happen every day?
Total Recall was a decent novice when trained by Sandra Hughes, and was switched to Mullins when Sandra handed in her license. As with so many recruits to the Carlow yard he didn't appear for quite a while, but when he did he was a horse transformed.
First he was a runaway winner of the Munster National at Limerick, and then took the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury where he showed all his class and resilience for Paul Townend. A year ago this weekend he was switched to hurdles for the Dublin Festival and, no problem, he took the William Fry Grade B race over his perfect trip of three miles.
A hurdle race was indeed an unusual prep for the Cheltenham Gold Cup where he fell, and then he was sent off a surprise favourite for the Aintree Grand National - does he really want those marathon trips? - where he was pulled up two out.
He made a belated seasonal debut on New Year's Day at Tramore when a good second to stablemate Al Boum Photo. Next he was third at Thurles in the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase - formerly the Kinloch Brae - to latest sensation Tout Est Permis.
To my mind this should leave him spot on for Sunday. The trip at both Tramore and Thurles was too short, and he has a dreadful previous record at Thurles a track that does not play to his strengths at all. Indeed it may well be that he is more effective racing left handed.
Stepping back up to three miles at Leopardstown then looks ideal. His two recent races should have him cherry ripe for this. It's most likely Willie will run three, and of course our tip could be the one to lose out. But the 16/1 - already nibbled at in places - still available must be snapped up.
TOTAL RECALL 0.5 point each way 16/1 Betfair Sportsbook, Bet365, PaddyPower, SkyBet