Tommos World of Racing
It’s incredible! Never in my racing life have I known anyone dominate National Hunt Racing in the UK and Ireland as much as Willie Mullins is doing at the moment!
The Irish trainer is winning so many big races that it’s almost becoming embarrassing! And over the weekend he was at it again in both England and Ireland!
At Ascot on Saturday his Vroom Vroom Mag kept her unbeaten record intact when romping away with the OLBG MaresHurdle and will surely win which ever race she goes in at the Cheltenham Festival in March and then Un de Sceaux looked different class in the Sodexho Clarence House stakes to become an even hotter favourite for the Qeen Mother Champion Chase also at Cheltenham in March.
24 hours later he was at it again in his native Ireland and at Leopardstown on Sunday his Douvan won the Arkle Chase by an effortless 15 lengths and it was the same winning distance for Faugheen ‘the machine’ in the Irish Champion Hurdle.
All these 4 horses will surely take all the beating at the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival – the world championships of jump racing – and such is the depth of quality in Mullins’ stable that his horses are favourites for over half of the 28 races that will be run over the 4 days of the Festival.
I have honestly never known anything like it in my entire racing life so how does Mullins do it?
Well in Ruby Walsh he has the perfect stable jockey – the ultimate professional, ‘Mr Cool’ – and he didn’t need to move a muscle on any of the 4 winners over the weekend!
In millionaire banker Rich Ricci he has the wealthy owner who can splash out the big money to buy the good horses but as anyone in racing will tell you money doesn’t guarantee success in the big races.
There is no doubt Willie is a great trainer with tremendous attention to detail yet he always has time and whenever I go up to him asking for a TV or Radio interview he always says yes or if he’s busy will apologise and come back later!
His strike rate this season is a mind blowing 35% in Ireland and 70% of his horses finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd!
His strike rate in the UK is 30% and he is held in such high regard that although he is only lying in 17th place in the British Trainers Championship the bookies make him favourite to win the title because they expect him to win the lions share of the £4,000,000 in prize money that is up for grabs at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
The Festival is now less than 7 weeks away and normally at this time we are working which horses will win and how many victories Ireland will have against the British. At this moment in time it’s definitely Willie Mullins and the Irish!
At Lingfield on Saturday Charlie Appleby and the Godolphin ‘Boys in Blue’ won the big flat race the 2 mile win and you’re in Conditions Stakes with Anglophile and he will now be aimed at the Marathon race at Lingfield’s £1,000,000 All Weather Championship Card in April.
Anglophile was given a lovely ride by Martin Lane who is the only jockey I know who sports a beard!
I know beards are very popular and there is no doubt Martin suits his beard but as he told me “ I might have to shave it off before I get to the Carnival in Dubai because the hot weather might cause it to itch!”
The action was certainly hot both on and off the track at Jebel Ali last Friday where Paul Hanagan ‘the managan” showed once again why he is the number one jockey to HH Sheikh Mohammed riding 2 winners including the Jebel Ali Mile.
It was also great from a personal point of view to interview so many luminaries from the world of racing who had called into Jebel Ali en route to this week’s Asian Racing Conference.
Indeed Simon Bazalgette the CEO of the Jockey Club in the UK told me he was enjoying every minute of it!
And finally….the most amazing thing happened after the last race at Jebel Ali!
Many of the racing people had left to go home but the enthusiastic racegoers stayed on for the draws featuring the main draw where the first ticket out of the drum wins a brand new car.
As it cost only 10 dirhams to entre – which is less than £2 – its very popular but when I read out the winning ticket number there was a great roar from the crowd and a sudanese gentleman stepped forward waving the winning ticket.
What made this so incredible was that it was the 17th time this particular Sudanese gentleman had won the car!
He obviously sees it as a good investement and works on the theory that the more tickets you buy the more chance you have of winning!
Other entries:Tommos World of Racing 21.03.2016
Tommos World of Racing 13.03.2016
Tommos World of Racing! 05.03.2016
Tommos World of Racing 03.02.2016
Tommos World of Racing 27.01.2016
Tommos world of racing! 16.01.2016
World of Racing 03.01.2016
Tommos World of Racing 22.12.2015
Fancy becoming a racing commentator? 11.12.2015
New Horses to Follow - August. 14.08.2015
Tommos World of Racing 04/08/14 04.08.2015