12 things you need to know about leading Irish National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins

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  • Find out everything you need to know about National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.

    1. Willie Mullins was born in Kilkenny in Ireland on 15 September 1956

    2. Willie is a former six times amateur champion jockey in Ireland, winning the 1983 Aintree Fox Hunters’ Chase on Atha Cliath and the 1996 Cheltenham Bumper on Wither Or Which.

    3. He has a son, Patrick Mullins, who is currently an amateur jockey riding mainly in Ireland for his father. Patrick is also an assistant trainer to his father. Willie’s wife, Jackie, was a successful amateur rider.

    4. He took out his training license in 1988 and he recorded his first trained winner, Silver Bachelor, at Thurles on 18 February 1988.

    5. Willie Mullins has been the Irish champion trainer every year since the 2008/2009 season.

    6. He is the trainer of the 2005 Grand National winner Hedgehunter.

    7. He also trained the mighty Hurricane Fly to win the 2011 and 2013 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Hurricane Fly won 24 of his 32 starts over hurdles and in doing so, notched up a world-record breaking 22 victories at Grade One level.

    8. He is also trainer of the six times Cheltenham David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle champion, Quevega.

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    9. Willie Mullins is the most-winning trainer at the Cheltenham Festival having clocked 72 winners in total by the closing of the 2020 fixture.

    10. He trained Al Boum Photo to win the 2019 and 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cups.

    11. He is based at Closutton, Muine Bheag, County Carlow, Ireland.

    12. He has trained 11 Irish Gold Cup winners; Florida Pearl (1999, 2000, 2001, 2004), Alexander Banquet (2002), Rule Supreme (2005), Kempes (2011), Quel Esprit (2012), Sir Des Champs (2013), Bellshill (2019) and Kemboy (2021).

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