‘It’s A Huge Team Effort’ — As Mullins Wraps Up Another Irish NH Championship

Six Irish National Hunt champions, including Willie Mullins, will be presented with their end-of-season awards at Punchestown on Saturday. Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will be on hand at the course to distribute the honours.

Trainer Willie Mullins was named the Irish NH Champion Trainer for the 17th time. He saddled his 4,000th career winner in January and sets a new record for the number of winners in a NH season having surpassed his previous best of 212, set in the 2017/2018 season. The trainer of Irish Grand National hero I Am Maximus (Fr) (Authorized {Ire}), Mullins’s other significant wins in Ireland were with multiple Grade 1 winners State Man (Fr) (Doctor Dino {Fr}), Galopin Des Champs (Fr) (Timos {Ger}), El Fabiolo (Fr) (Spanish Moon) and Facile Vega (Ire) (Walk In The Park {Ire}).

Mullins said, “To win the champion trainer title is the icing on another great season for our team. Winning titles like this wouldn’t be possible without our loyal owners who send us these wonderful horses. It’s a huge team effort at Closutton–our staff go above and beyond in all weathers and keep the show on the road so winning the champion trainer title is a tribute to everyone at home.”

The rest of the winners are:

  • Champion Owner: JP McManus
  • Champion Jockey: Paul Townend
  • Champion Conditional: Michael O’Sullivan
  • Champion Amateur: Patrick Mullins
  • Champion Lady Amateur Rider: Jody Townend.

Named Champion Owner for the 20th time, McManus is also winning his third consecutive owners’ title. Winner of the Horse Racing Ireland Contribution to the Industry Award in December, his colours were carried by I Am Maximus, with five-time Champion Jockey Paul Townend aboard, to win the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. McManus enjoyed further Grade 1 success with Saint Roi (Fr) (Coastal Path {GB}) and with Gentleman De Mee (Fr) (Saint Des Saints {Fr}).

McManus said, “It’s always an honour to win the champion owner title. Thanks goes to all the trainers, jockeys and fantastic horses who gave my family and I some great days this season.”

Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive, Suzanne Eade, said, “My heartiest congratulations go to our champions JP, Willie, Paul, Michael, Patrick and Jody, all wonderful ambassadors for National Hunt racing and for Irish sport. A special mention must go to our three Cork heroes, Paul who gained his first success in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National, Michael who has enjoyed a sensational breakthrough season and to Jody who rode out her claim, a notable achievement for any rider.

“The season has been a great success with big numbers in attendance at our flagship meetings from start to finish. Thanks to a very special and dedicated workforce, the vast majority working behind the scenes in racing yards and stables in every county in the country, the Irish racing and breeding industries continue to go from strength to strength.”

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