THE self-proclaimed 'maddest f***er on the planet' looks to be working his magic again just in time for the Cheltenham Festival.
Rich Ricci is a well-known name to ardent racing fans.
But anytime he appears on ITV Racing, a whole new audience are exposed to the £100million banker with the mullet and snazzy suits.
Put simply, as good as Ricci is in the boardroom, he's equally as good on the racecourse.
A big spender with seemingly limitless cash resources and the expertise of Willie Mullins at his disposal, Ricci will be one of the owners to watch in March.
And after a relatively quiet couple of years, it looks like his big ones are set to fire at just the right time.
He currently has the ante-post favourites in four races.
Lossiemouth has swept all before her over hurdles.
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Unbeaten in three races, the four-year-old filly is the red-hot 6-4 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle.
Allegorie De Vassy looks set for a blockbuster clash with Impervious – recently purchased by Irish billionaire JP McManus – in the Mares' Chase.
But bookies make the Ricci runner the one to beat at 15-8.
Chapeau De Soleil is the 8-1 market leader for the Champion Bumper – the race to win on the path to greatness.
And then there is Gaelic Warrior.
One of the 'talking horses' of last year, he looked absolutely thrown in off a mark of 129 in the Boodles only to be nutted on the line by Brazil.
The five-year-old is unbeaten since then and among the market leaders for no fewer than nine races.
And though he looks like being capable of mixing it at Grade 1 level, it's in the handicaps that punters are backing him.
He is 7-1 for the Coral Cup and 8-1 for the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle.
Then again he's a best-price 6-1 for the Grade 1 Ballymore over 2m4f.
Fancy him against Facile Vega in the Supreme? He's 16-1.
Basically, Mullins has the wonderful problem of picking where to put Gaelic Warrior, who has won his past two races by a combined 101 lengths.
And it's not like the quality tapers off after that.
Vauban looks capable of pushing Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle.
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Chacun Pour Soi could mix it up in the Ryanair or run in the Champion Chase.
While two-time Festival winner Monkfish has entries in the Gold Cup (40-1) and Stayers' Hurdle (20-1).
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