Monday 25 September 2017

WATCH - 'I won't be targeting ex-horses of mine' - Willie Mullins on facing his former stars at Cheltenham

Willie Mullins
Willie Mullins
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Willie Mullins won't be content with beating former horses of his at Cheltenham... he wants to beat all of them.

His high profile split from Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown operation has changed the landscape of Irish national hunt racing and Mullins has continually found himself trying to get the better of horses he once cared for.

The Clossuton trainer will come up against the likes of Apple's Jade, Don Poli and Outlander next week but insisted that beating his ex-horses is not the aim.

"We'll be going out just trying to beat everyone, we won't be targeting ex-horses or anything like that," he said.

"We'll just be getting on with our job of training and trying to do as best we can.

"I've just forgotten about them, as far as I'm concerned they're gone and we go with what we have

"We knew doing what we were doing what was going to happen and we said we'd take the consequences. What's done is done.

"I don't think you should ever gloat in racing.

"I'll be satisfied if I do well, from a personal point of view, but I don't think you can ever be delighted you beat someone, because the next day they're going to beat you.

"Every second day it's forward and back, so I just enjoy my own victories, not because of who you beat, just because you've won."

Mullins assault on Cheltenham this year will be diluted by the horses he has lost in the Gigginstown split and high profile injuries to the likes of Annie Power, Faugheen and Min.

"I'd say we'll have about 40 runners. Normally we'd have around 60, so we're back that many," he added

"Hopefully we'll have quality going over, so we'll have to try and make it up. It's not going to be as big a team as other years, so it's going to be tougher for us I think.

"People tell me I have four or five or six favourites, I can't see them myself, but maybe I'm a bit more pessimistic.

"I didn't think we'd have anything like that (number) going to Cheltenham this year and I just hope the markets are right.

"If you have two or three favourites and one wins you're going well and hopefully a couple more will come out.

"People expect a lot from our team and we're hoping rather than expecting.

"When you go to Cheltenham with a strong favourite, it's always relief rather than joy. If you have a 25-1 winner that's unexpected, that's joy."

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