Sunday 22 September 2019

Punters pack the track to see Mullins put on a five-star show at a buzzing Leopardstown

Racehorse trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Tony Gavin
Racehorse trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sean O'Grady

Champion trainer Willie Mullins kept punters purring on day two of the Leopardstown Festival as festive racegoers flocked to pack the course.

The Kilkenny man saddled five winners at the south Dublin racetrack as 17,783 people spilled through the turnstiles.

Michael O’Leary with his sons and their cousin. Photo: Tony Gavin
Michael O’Leary with his sons and their cousin. Photo: Tony Gavin

Clear skies and warm temperatures lifted the spirits of punters as some well-known faces joined the crowds.

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary was spotted with his sons Luke and Matt. While Waterford hurler John Mullane and former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte also got into the spirit.

While Gordon Elliott trained Noble Endeavour won the feature €190,000 Paddy Power Chase, it was definitely Mullins's day as fancied Meri Devie, Bacardys, Saturnas, Ballyward and superstar Douvan all romped home.

Speaking after Douvan's win, Mullins said he hoped the rest of the festival continued in his favour.

Meri Devie, owner Andrea Wylie. Photo: Tony Gavin
Meri Devie, owner Andrea Wylie. Photo: Tony Gavin

"At Leopardstown you can have a good day and then everything and go belly up so fingers crossed," he told the Irish Independent.

"The first few bits of work this year, I was wondering was he the same Douvan. I wasn't at all impressed with him.

"He's definitely the best steeplechaser we've ever had.

"I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope that he stays sound and we'll stay on the two-mile route as long we can.

Waterford hurler John Mullane at the races in Leopardstown. Photo: Tony Gavin
Waterford hurler John Mullane at the races in Leopardstown. Photo: Tony Gavin

"I just take it one day at a time and aim for the next race."

Read more: 'Potentially the best horse we've had' - Willie Mullins hails the brilliant Douvan

With Ladies Day on the horizon today, several punters donned their finest wears as they geared up for the main event.

Dubliner Aisling Cooling (27) was looking forward to getting stuck into the betting.

Sarah Bartley, Sandra McCormack and Linda McCormack from Co Meath. Photo: Tony Gavin
Sarah Bartley, Sandra McCormack and Linda McCormack from Co Meath. Photo: Tony Gavin

"It's my first time here. I'll watch all the races and gamble on every single one of them.

"I'm going to do Ladies Day next year but this year I was too late getting my ticket," she said.

Racehorse owner JP McManus. Photo: Tony Gavin
Racehorse owner JP McManus. Photo: Tony Gavin
Dawn Farrell from Dalkey at the races in Leopardstown. Photo: Tony Gavin
Dawn Farrell from Dalkey at the races in Leopardstown. Photo: Tony Gavin

Irish Independent

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