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Not just Mullins making a mark as Irish trainers have a year to remember


Champion trainer Willie Mullins. Caroline Norris/Getty Images

Champion trainer Willie Mullins. Caroline Norris/Getty Images

Champion trainer Willie Mullins. Caroline Norris/Getty Images

Six winners from two Irish meetings in Ireland last weekend sort of sets the tone for things to come next weekend as Willie Mullins is sure to be a dominant figure over the hectic Christmas schedule and if he's not punters will be reeling and the bookmakers will be first in the queue for brand new cars on January 1st.

But as dominant as our champion trainer is churning out so many winners and obtaining the majority of best horses that come up for sale, Mullins is certainly not the only trainer to be enjoying a fine season however.

Gordon Elliott has no hope of matching Mullins numerically on the winners front unless the Closutton train is somehow derailed but Elliott just continues to prove how good a trainer he is by enjoying his best ever season already and we're not even at Christmas yet.

Of course, Cheltenham will often be used as a platform to be judged and after triumphing on that stage in the past, a measure of Elliott's season will be viewed on how the Meath trainer fares out over there and at Punchestown later in the season, but going in to Christmas Elliott has already trained more winners in Ireland than he did last season.

Bayan's success in the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday was memorable for many reasons but for Elliott it was his fourth big weekend winner in five weeks and he has won over €700,000 in prize money in the last three months alone.

Seasonal bests don't end with Elliott either. Mark Walsh will go in to St Stephen's Day joint with Paul Townend on 51 winners at the head of the jockeys standings, Walsh eclipsing his best ever total of 38 last season already and Townend just four short of what he ended last year on in Ireland.

Kevin Sexton was Ireland's champion conditional jockey last season and aided by his association with Elliott, Sexton is already on the same total (22) as he finished up on at Punchestown in May.

It's hard to judge Johnny Burke on last season when he rode as an amateur but Burke is lying third on 39 winners (four as an amateur) behind Walsh and Townend and he also has landed the job with Alan and Ann Potts.

Robert Tyner is another man to deserves a mention in this regard. He will undoubtedly be a man to follow over the Christmas period as his team are doing him proud consistently of late and as well as enjoying a good time on the track in Ireland, he has landed a successful raid in England and continues to fire out the winners in the point-to-point field on a consistent basis.

Noel Meade ended last season on 45-winners and already on 33, it is great to see Meade coming back and enjoying a better time of things after a luckless couple of seasons.

And there's more. Robbie Power is on 33 winners this season and ended the last campaign on 31 and Paul Carberry only managed to ride 27 winners in 188 rides in Ireland in the 2013/14 season and so far this season he has already enjoyed 28 winners from 218 rides.

Willie Mullins will be champion trainer, the chances are if we stays sound that despite only having 34 winners at the minute that Ruby Walsh will still be champion jockey, but there are more people outside of the Closutton bubble that will enjoy their Christmas dinner on Thursday with plenty to look forward to going in to 2015.