Monday 11 December 2017

Jockey Mullins has eye on victory in Murray's honour

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

CHELTENHAM winning jockey Patrick Mullins revealed he would "love" to ride a winner today for RTE broadcaster Colm Murray (pictured).

The racing stalwart and presenter, who is fighting motor neurone disease (MND), has a horse, Sweet My Lord, that he co-owns, running in the Handicap Chase on the third day of the UK festival.

"It would be a fairytale but those don't usually happen," said Patrick, after he won yesterday's four-mile National Hunt Chase on Back In Focus.

"You would like him to win, if you could pick one horse that could win, really just for Colm, as he has been a friend of the family. He is such a kind and enthusiastic person."

Record-breaking amateur jockey Patrick (24) revealed Mr Murray had been waiting there to interview him when he entered the winners' enclosure at Cheltenham on Cousin Vinny in 2008.

"He was as happy as anyone was for me. I'd love for him to win. He is much missed here this year as he is not able to come over," he added.

Patrick said he thought the presenter would be watching the performance of the horse, trained by his father Willie Mullins, from home.

The presenter's last Cheltenham festival was in March 2010, just two weeks before he was diagnosed with MND.

His popularity among television audiences and the racing community is such that an RTE television programme aired last year on his battle with MND attracted 600,000 viewers.

Last year, after Sweet My Lord was ruled out of running at Cheltenham, the Wicklow trainer Philip Rothwell ran a long-shot Tally Em Up in the presenter's name. It finished fifth at the festival.

Irish Independent

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