Willie Mullins

Jack Kennedy Takes Tight Jockeys' Race As Irish NH Champions Crowned At Punchestown

The 2023/2024 Irish National Hunt champions were crowned at Punchestown on Saturday, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) announced. After a close tussle, Jack Kennedy earned his first Irish Champion Jockey title, just edging out Paul Townend, who was aiming for his seventh year-end award. The full list of champions for the 2023/2024 National Hunt season are as follows: Champion Owner: JP McManus Champion Trainer: Willie Mullins Champion Jockey: Jack Kennedy Champion Conditional: Danny Gilligan Champion Amateur: Patrick Mullins Champion Lady Amateur: Jody Townend HRI chief executive, Suzanne Eade, said, "It has...

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Mullins Becomes First Irish Trainer In 70 Years To Take The UK NH Title

Willie Mullins became the first Irish trainer to take the British National Hunt Trainer's crown in 70 years after his El Fabiolo (Fr) (Spanish Moon) ran second to Jonbon (Fr) (Walk In the Park {Ire}) in the G1 bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown on Saturday. Mullins also saddled winners Minella Cocooner (Ire) (Flemensfirth) and Impaire Et Passe (Fr) (Diamond Boy {Fr}) to win the bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase and the G2 bet365 Select Hurdle, respectively during the bet365 Jumps Finale card. Overall, Mullins trained 28 winners to victories in...

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Mullins Favourite For British Title After National Triumph With I Am Maximus

I Am Maximus (Fr) (Authorized {Ire}) produced one of the most impressive Grand National-winning performances in some time to propel Willie Mullins to the head of the British Trainers' Championship. Owned by JP McManus and ridden by Paul Townend, last year's Irish Grand National hero represented winner number two in the Aintree showpiece for Mullins, who sent out Hedgehunter (Ire) (Montelimar) to success in 2005. Returned the 7-1 co-favourite, I Am Maximus stormed clear of Delta Work (Fr) (Network {Ger}) in second with former Gold Cup winner Minella Indo (Ire)...

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Cheltenham Was Always About the Horses and Britain Has Lost Ground 

When I started covering the Cheltenham Festival in the late 1980s it was still a place of myth and legend: whiskey priests, all-night card schools, hopeful (but not expectant) Irish pilgrimages, farmers with chances of winning a race and wince-inducing whip-use up the hill. It was a place chiefly for aficionados - the county set and jump racing hardcore, leavened with once-a-year urban tweedies who loved the racing and knew what it meant to watch Dawn Run win both a Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup. A place, in other words, for...

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Galopin Des Champs Seals Golden Week For Mullins, Again

CHELTENHAM, UK--Believe it or not, Willie Mullins drew a blank on day three of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, with Capodanno (Fr) (Manduro {Ger}) and Jade De Grugy (Fr) (Doctor Dino {Fr}) faring best of their trainer's 11 runners on that card when finishing fourth in their respective races. Twenty-four hours without a winner at the Festival is a long time in Willie's world, the one in which he hit the target six times across the first two days of the meeting. Thankfully for him after Thursday's 'drought', there was a...

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A Mullins Treble Puts Cheltenham Century in Reach

CHELTENHAM, UK -- The biggest cheer all day at Cheltenham came from the Ascot crowd. Sir Francis Brooke, first Her Majesty's and now His Majesty's Representative at Ascot was engulfed by back-slappers and well-wishers as the horse he owns with Richard Pilkington, Chianti Classico (Ire) (Shantou {Ire}), ground his way through the extended three miles of the Ultima Handicap Chase to provide the sole strike for Britain on a day dominated - predictably - by Willie Mullins.  Chianti Classico's trainer Kim Bailey has had his share of Cheltenham glory but...

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'State Man Must Win' – Q&A With Haras de Saint-Voir Boss Nicolas de Lageneste

There are few more respected figures in French National Hunt racing than Nicolas de Lageneste.  It seems as though everything de Lageneste turns his hand to, be that breeding, training or simply owning racehorses, it is a success. Last year he completed the rare achievement of being crowned champion National Hunt owner and breeder in the same season. Nobody has ever done that before.  Fewer still would be capable of nurturing a horse like Il Est Francais (Fr) (Karaktar {Ire}). Not only did de Lageneste breed the superstar chaser, who...

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One Of Irish Racing's Most Beloved Figures Maureen Mullins Dies Aged 94

Maureen Mullins, Irish racing's great matriarch and the mother of the champion trainer Willie Mullins, has died at the age of 94 following a short illness. Wife of the late Paddy Mullins, a multiple champion handler who managed the career of the great Dawn Run before passing away aged 91 in 2010, Maureen leaves an incredible legacy behind her.  She had four sons and a daughter--trainers Tom, Willie and Tony along with George and daughter Sandra--who have gone on to make the Mullins name a dominant force in Irish racing...

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Dominance is What Elite Sport is All About

The growing supremacy of the Willie Mullins stable in National Hunt racing begs the question: is it damaging anybody or anything? Dominance is the raison d'etre of elite sport. When Rafa Nadal was winning 14 French Open tennis titles it never entered his head that what he was doing might be harmful to the game. Manchester City won't be thinking that five Premier League title wins in six seasons is quite enough, thank you very much, and that to make it six in seven would be detrimental. If you're preaching...

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Swanbridge Goes To 150k For Winning Daughter Of Quevega At Goffs

Princess Vega (Ire) (Beat Hollow {GB}), a winning daughter of six-time Cheltenham festival scorer Quevega (Fr) (Robin Des Champs {Fr}), proved to be worth the wait at the Goffs February Sale when selling as one of the last lots through the ring [431G] on Thursday evening for €150,000 to agent Gerry Hogan on behalf of Swanbridge Bloodstock .  It was Liz Lucas's Swanbridge Bloodstock who signed for the Order Of St George (Ire) filly out of Princess Vega at the November National Hunt Sale at Goffs for €48,000 last year....

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'He's Put Us On The Map' – Capital Stud Boss Puts Faith Behind Authorized

Capital Stud boss Ger O'Neill has revealed that Authorized (Ire) will stand for a similar fee to dominant National Hunt stallion Walk In The Park (Ire) and outlined his hopes that the new recruit to the County Kilkenny operation will help raise the relatively new outfit's profile amongst Irish breeders.  O'Neill's perseverance paid off in securing the 20-year-old Derby winner and sire of Tiger Roll (Ire), one of the most famous jumps horses of the modern era, from the Jockey Club of Turkey for what he described as "a frightening"...

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Bullet-Proof Vests, Demand For 3-Y-O Bumpers And More At ITBA Seminar

The Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association promised "lively debate" ahead of its eagerly-anticipated National Hunt seminar and it didn't disappoint with the introduction of three-year-old bumpers, altering the sales programme, the importance of a strong broodmare band and polarisation of the market some of the major topics discussed on the night.  The event took place on Wednesday at The Lord Bagenal Inn, County Carlow, just a stone's throw away from where Willie Mullins, one of the greatest National Hunt trainer of all time, is based.  The panel featured Anthony Bromley, Walter...

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