Mullins: It means a lot after years of trying
Willie Mullins buried his Irish Grand National hoodoo in emphatic fashion as the Ruby Walsh-ridden Burrows Saint (6/1 favourite) led home a remarkable 1-2-3 for the Closutton maestro in the €500,000 Fairyhouse showpiece yesterday.
Even by Mullins's standards, it's been an extraordinary few months as the 12-time champion trainer added a first Irish Grand National success to his maiden Cheltenham Gold Cup triumph with Al Boum Photo.
This was yet another piece of history for the 62-year-old - who fired a 293/1 treble on the day - as he filled a rare void in his stellar training career with the six-year-old novice.
"Until today the Irish National had been an unlucky race for us. My father trained four winners of the race many years ago and it means a lot to have cracked it after years of trying," Mullins said.
"I was a little surprised Ruby chose him as I thought he might go for something with more experience but it's just been one of those years where we have done things that we haven't done before."
Walsh's third National victory was particularly sweet as he steered the well-supported Burrows Saint home from stablemates Isleofhopendreams (20/1) and Acapella Bourgeois (18/1).
"I'm delighted to have ridden Willie's first Irish National winner," Walsh said.
"He gave me a job when I was 16 and I'm 39 now. That's a long time not to have fallen out with someone."