Tuesday 21 August 2018

Mullins sets new mark for amateur winners

Jockey Patrick Mullins has set a new record for an amateur rider. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Jockey Patrick Mullins has set a new record for an amateur rider. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Patrick Mullins became the winning-most amateur rider of all time as he overtook the record of 545 winners set by Ted Walsh with victory aboard Queens Boulevard in the Blind Tiger Flat race at Sligo.

Mullins had drawn level with a winner on Saturday, and is now out on his own on 546 career triumphs following the success of the 4/7 favourite, appropriately trained by the rider's father, Willie.

Never far from the pace, Mullins was always cruising on the five-year-old debutant and looked set to go well clear when pressing the button soon after entering the straight. In the end it was a shade closer than expected, but the result was never in doubt, with half a length the winning margin over Just A Boy.

Mullins, 28, said: "That's fantastic and it's something quite cool. Obviously I couldn't have done it without standing on what my parents have built in Closutton and on what my grandparents built in Duninga before that.

"I'm in a very privileged position and get a lot of opportunities. It's good to be able to make the most of them. I'm riding for Willie Mullins, so that makes the job a lot easier."

He went on: "It's something I was told about a few years ago when I got the record in a calendar year and it's something I've been aiming for.

"It would be nice to get to a thousand. It's taken me 12 years to get this far so if I rode till I was 40 - my father did that - I might do it. I see Derek (O'Connor) with a thousand point-to-point winners, so that's probably the next aim, but that's a long way off."

Mullins has been a potent force in bumpers, but has also shown himself to be equally adept over obstacles, winning some high-profile races on big names like Douvan, Un De Sceaux and Faugheen.

Irish Independent

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