Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 23 April 2017

Mullins: Stars was one in a Thousand

Thousand Stars, with Katie Walsh up, on the way to winning the Vincent OBrien County Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2010. Photo: Getty Images
Thousand Stars, with Katie Walsh up, on the way to winning the Vincent OBrien County Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2010. Photo: Getty Images

Johnny Ward

Patrick Mullins has paid tribute to Thousand Stars, which was retired yesterday after an amazing career.

Willie Mullins had to call time on the 12-year-old grey, which began his career with Lar Byrne, due to injury. He won 13 of his 80 starts and £1,165,000 in prize-money.

"He lived up to his name," said Mullins Junior, who never managed to get a ride on the horse. "He was unique, winning Grade Ones in Ireland and France, winning at Cheltenham, winning from two to three miles.

"He was campaigned at the highest level for a long number of years. Other horses at our yard had more talent but he was unbelievably versatile and consistent.

"Katie Walsh had a great knack with him. She is taking him home now , which is nice. He was a funny horse in that he never really did sparkling bits of work at home. Maybe that's why he lasted so long.

"Dick Dowling, our head man, looked after him. Any time Thousand Stars went, Dick went with him - and Dick almost never leaves the yard. He played a key role in Thousand Stars' story."

Meanwhile, it is understood that New Bay, which was third in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last year, may well take his chance in what is shaping up to be a scintillating Qipco Irish Champion Stakes.

Irish Independent

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