(IRE) Racehorse Trainer
The name ‘Willie Mullins’ is synonymous with Irish National Hunt Racing, but before becoming a trainer, Willie Mullins was an amateur jockey of significant talent. He gained many memorable victories over the years, in particular aboard his fathers Atha Cliath in the 1983 Aintree Foxhunters Chase. Mullins took out his trainer’s licence in 1988 but continued to race-ride thereafter. Having ridden his own horse, Wither Or Which, to victory in the 1996 Cheltenham Champion Bumper, Mullins opted to hang up his riding boots and concentrate solely on training. That win began what would prove to be a famous association between the Mullins yard and the Cheltenham Festival. Since then Mullins has been Champion National Hunt Trainer on seven occasions.
Horses to emerge under his guidance include:
The Willie Mullins yard will always be associated with the brilliant chaser, Florida Pearl. Having won the 1997 Cheltenham Champion Bumper, Mullins made the bold decision to completely by-pass a novice hurdling campaign and sent him straight over fences, and he readily won the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
However that was just the tip of the iceberg as he would subsequently become one of the most popular chasers in history. He won at Grade 1 level on nine occasions in all, including the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 renewals of the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, the 2001 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, the 2002 Heinekan Gold Cup as well as a memorable renewal of the King George VI Chase at Kempton in 2001. In addition to those wins, he twice finished in the frame in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Hedgehunter was another highly-successful servant to the Willie Mullins stable and eventual winner of the 2005 running of the Aintree Grand National. Hedgehunter played a leading role in what was one of the most successful seasons for Irish-trained horses at the leading British National Hunt racing festivals in 2004/5.
Coming off the back of no less than nine Irish-trained winners at the Cheltenham Festival, Hedgehunter’s victory as the well-backed favourite in the Aintree Grand National capped a glorious period for Irish punters and sealed his own place in history. However, like many future Aintree Grand National heroes, Hedgehunter did not always look to be a star in the making and his rise to prominence was very much a steady one.
Hurricane Fly is probably one of the best known modern day Champion Hurdlers’. Bred to be a flat racer, he began his racing career in France where he had moderate success, winning twice in ten races. At the end of 2007 he was sold and transferred to Ireland where he began his career with Willie Mullins. Hurricane Fly has contested twenty-one hurdle races, winning eighteen times with one second place and two third places.
On 15 March 2011, Hurricane Fly ridden by Ruby Walsh won the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. After finishing third 2012 he became the first horse in thirty-eight years to regain the Champion Hurdle title by winning the race for a second time in 2013. On the 26th of April 2013 he had his 16th Grade 1 victory in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
To learn more about this Irish Training legend, please visit his website on http://www.wpmullins.com/
Willie has been a constant supporter of TRM products:
TRM products are an essential part of my horses training regime and wellbeing, ensuring their maximum performance.