Willie Mullins

Welcome to our profile of leading Irish jumps Trainer Willie Mullins:

Willie Mullins – Key Stats

Name – Willie Mullins

Date of Birth – 15 September 1956

Birthplace – Goresbridge, County Kilkenny

Racing Yard – Closutton, County Carlow

Big Wins: Cheltenham Gold Cup, Aintree Grand National, Champion Hurdle, Stayers Hurdle, Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle Trophy, Ryanair Chase, Triumph Hurdle, Irish Gold Cup, Punchestown Gold Cup, Irish Champion Hurdle, Irish St Leger, King George VI Chase, Tingle Creek Chase, Betway Bowl, Irish Grand National and many more!

Willie Mullins

Trainer Profile – Willie Mullins

Willie is the son of Irish National Hunt trainer Paddy Mullins.

He was a very successful amateur rider, being leading amateur in Ireland six times.

He rode a Cheltenham Festival winner aboard Wither Or Which in the 1996 Champion Bumper.

He learned his trade as assistant to his father Paddy Mullins and also Jim Bolger before obtaining his own licence in 1988.

Willie Mullins – Key Trainer Stats

The early days of his training career was steady rather than spectacular. He chalked up his first 50 in 1996-97 but did not record his first century until the 2007-08 season. He has trained 100 or more winners every season since.

Mullins most prolific season came in 2017-18 when he trained 212 winners from 797 runners.

He has been champion trainer in Ireland a remarkable 15 times.

He consistently posts some impressive stats with a strike rate between 25 and 30 per cent.

Willie Mullins’s Big Race Wins

Mullins has won most of the major prizes in National Hunt racing.

He won the Aintree Grand National with Hedgehunter in 2005 but had to wait until 2019 before claiming the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the first time with Al Boum Photo. The horse followed up in 2020 but was beaten in his hat-trick bid.

Hurricane Fly won two Champion Hurdles at Cheltenham (2011 and 2013), a race Mullins also won with Faugheen (2015) and Annie Power (2016). Hurricane Fly also won five Irish Champion Hurdles and four Punchestown Champion Hurdles. Mullins has eleven Irish Gold Cup victories to his credit, the first four courtesy of Florida Pearl.

Florida Pearl also won the King George VI Chase at Kempton in 2001.

Un De Sceaux was another prolific winner for the yard, his victories including the Ryanair Chase and three successive wins in the Clarence House Chase.

Mullins has also become a major force in staying races on the flat, specialising in valuable handicaps but also claiming Classic success in the Irish St Leger with Wicklow Brave (2016).

Willie Mullins’s Most Famous Victories

Hedgehunter’s Grand National win was not unexpected, the gelding having run superbly a year previously before falling at the last. Long-time stable jockey Ruby Walsh rode the horse with supreme confidence in 2005, preserving enough energy to quicken 12 lengths clear on the run-in.

Al Boum Photo’s victory ended a long wait for Mullins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2019. The trainer was philosophical about his chances, especially after his other three runners had departed with a circuit still to race. Paul Townend was the winning rider, a man trusted with filling the shoes of Ruby Walsh as number one rider for the yard.

The Mares’ Hurdle is not the most prestigious event at the Cheltenham Festival but the 2014 renewal will always rate highly when Mullins reflects on his career. He saddled Quevega to win the race for a sixth successive season.

Summary

Mullins has trained so many champion racehorses over hurdles and fences that it is impossible to mention them all here.

He is also a master of training dual-purpose horses and bringing horses to their peak for the big festival meetings.

He sets the standard in National Hunt racing with an impressive strike rate and is the one they all have to beat.

Other Leading Horse Racing Trainers

As the Co-Founder of British Racecourses, I love the chance to share my enjoyment of racing with others. As a family, we have always loved the racing and went to Haydock races as kids, as often as we could. We are now lucky enough to own some fantastic racehorses who we will follow around the tracks and we have had some great wins. As part of British Racecourses, I enjoy visiting and reviewing the racecourses that we visit, all of which I think have something to offer and are brilliant in their own ways.