- £42,203: World Famous JUST EAT Mersey Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 1) – Apr 11, 2015
- £23,934: Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Dawn Run Mares Novice Chase (Grade 2) – Mar 15, 2015
- £21,415: Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) – Apr 6, 2015
About Willie Mullins
Star Irish National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins has come to dominate the sport in his native land as well as being tremendously successful in raids both on British and French soil, making him arguably the most dominant force in Irish jumps racing of recent times.
A former top amateur jumps rider, Mullins has developed a very powerful team of horses at his County Carlow stables that have carried him to nine Irish jumps trainer’s titles, including the last seven in a row. Mullins’ dominance of the Irish jumps scene is almost total. The last four seasons have seen the yard’s runners winning a remarkable three out of every 10 races in which they compete, a percentage strike rate that is the envy of trainers both in Britain and Ireland, and further afield.
On his way to the 2013/14 title Mullins sent out an unprecedented 186 winners and once again was the leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival as he took his overall scorer at the premier race meeting of the sport to no less than 33, his first coming in 1995 when he sent out Tourist Attraction to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle, a race he also landed last season with Vautour. Vautour was the first of four wins at the meeting that also included the legendary Quevega’s sixth successive win in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, Faugheen landing the Neptune Novices Hurdle, and Don Poli, coming fast and late to win the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
A well as Cheltenham, Aintree has been a very happy hunting ground for the Mullins team over the years and they famously landed a massive ante-post gamble with the Trevor Hemmings-owned Hedgehunter who galloped to glory in the 2005 John Smith’s Grand National under a tremendous ride from Mullins’ ever-present jockey Ruby Walsh.
Mullins has trained so many great horses, but the superb Hurricane Fly, the winning-most Grade 1 performer under any code in the history of world racing, has to be considered just about top of the popularity list. The son of Montjeu was expertly prepared to win 23 of his 36 career starts, including a remarkable 19 Grade 1 successes, the very highest level of the sport. Other Mullins favourites include Hedgehunter, Quevega, Florida Pearl, Alexander Banquet, Golden Silver, Thousand Stars, Champagne Fever, Boston Bob, and Annie Power.
Mullins’ horses are particularly well worth following when competing at Sligo (47% strike rate), Tramore (42%), Clonmel (37%), Limerick and Navan (34%), and Downpatrick and Kilbeggan (33%). He also has a very respectable strike with his few Flat runners at tracks such as Ballinrobe (44%), Roscommon (40%), and Bellewstown (33%), whilst another significant statistic is Mullins having saddled 3 winners from just 10 runners (30%) at the world’s top Flat fixture, Royal Ascot .
The superb Ruby Walsh, Mullins’ stable jockey, has a tremendous 34% strike rate on rides for his guv’nor, but it is also worth noting the following jockeys when riding for the champion trainer as they too have very impressive winning percentages. Bryan Cooper tops the list with 43%, followed by Davy Russell (36%), Mullins’ son Patrick (33%), A E Lynch (31%) and Paul Townend (26%).
Willie Mullins is not the oldest of trainers to dominate the scene in the present though, Sir Michael Stoute still rules as the oldest trainer legend to still compete.
- racingpost.com, Willie Mullins Record and Stats, 2015