Saturday 29 April 2017

Willie Mullins reveals conversation with Michael O'Leary after winning Ryanair Chase

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

After a disastrous opening two days, Willie Mullins bounced back in style on Day 3 at Cheltenham.

Mullins had to wait until the opening race today for his first winner of the 2017 festival, with Ruby Walsh riding Yorkhill to victory in the JLT Novices' Chase before Un De Sceaux took the Ryanair Chase.

What added to Mullins' victory in the latter race is that it is sponsored by Michael O'Leary's airline, just months after the businessman took his horses out of the trainer's yard due to a disagreement over fees.

O'Leary wasn't present for the post-race presentation but Mullins revealed to ITV that despite their previous disagreements, the duo enjoyed a cordial conversation after the Ryanair Chase.

"He said well done," Mullins said.

"Michael was very gracious. I just try to win, it isn't about who you beat."

Un De Sceaux's victory was Mullins' 50th festival winner, while he will also hope to claim the Gold Cup for the first time tomorrow with Djakadam.

Mullins didn't have to wait much longer for his 51st winner, with Nichols Canyon taking the Stayers' hurdle with Walsh on board again.

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