Rule The World did exactly that when winning a thrilling Crabbies Grand National for Mouse Morris on Saturday.
Just 12 days after sending out Rogue Angel to win the BoyleSports Irish Grand National, Mouse Morris completed a remarkable double when Rule The World pounced late to land the Crabbie’s Grand National under 19-year-old David Mullins, who hails from Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny.
What a day it was for horse and rider, who is nephew of Irish National Hunt champion trainer, Willie Mullins and grandson of the late Paddy Mullins, who trained the great Dawn Run.
His aunt is former Olympic Games show jumper, Marion Hughes, Danesfort.
The former St Kieran’s College student, who only took out his professional licence in 2014, guided the horse to his first win over fences.
Mullins had never even walked the Aintree course before pulling off the stunning victory.
The horse had broken bones twice in the past, and it was deemed little short of a miracle that he won what is regarded as the most demanding race in the world.
“Apart from one mistake, it was a dream run,” David said afterwards.
“It’s unbelievable. I just couldn’t expect things to have gone better.
“There was one little mishap at the fourth last, but thank god I came out the other side. Everything went to plan really.
“Credit to Mouse, he’s produced this horse without having won over fences. Then there’s me, who’s never even walked around the Grand National track.
“Mouse is a genius and he’s the best man in the world for preparing a horse for one day.
“I’m very thankful to Michael and Eddie O’Leary (of Gigginstown) for giving me the chance. That’s the best ride I’ve ever got off a horse and it’s the best feeling to come back into a place like this.
“It was just brilliant.”
His younger brother, Charlie and his mother, Helen were in the winners enclosure to welcome David after a day that will be hard to match.
David is the son of Tom and Helen and he also has two sisters, Kate and Kim.
Within half an hour David was celebrating again. He rode another winner, this time Ivan Grozny for Willie Mullins, to round off a perfect day.
In a race in which 8-1 joint-favourites The Last Samurai and Many Clouds traded blows for much of the second circuit, Rule The World was ridden quietly behind the leaders.
He swept by at the Elbow, eventually drawing six lengths clear in conditions that tested stamina severely.
The Last Samuri kept on to take second, ahead of Dermot McLoughlin’s 100-1 shot Vics Canvas, who made a terrible error at Becher’s Brook on the first circuit, with Robbie Dunne doing wonders to keep the partnership intact.
Gilgamboa was fourth at 28-1. Goonyella, the horse that came in for late money as the rain fell on Aintree, was fifth at 12-1 and completed a 1-3-4-5 for Irish-trained horses.
The win was a poignant one for Morris as his son Christopher died last Summer while travelling in South America.
Mullins edges closer
Meanwhile, Willie Mullins is in pole position to be crowned champion jumps trainer in Britain for the first time after landing six winners at the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival.
Title rival and leader up until Saturday, Paul Nicholls drew a blank at the three-day festival.
The importance of the Grand National meeting on the title race had a great deal to do with the £1 million prize-money up for grabs in the Crabbie’s Grand National.
However, neither trainer was able to make an impact with only Unioniste picking up £1,000 for Nicholls with his 10th placed finish.
Instead, the damage was done by Mullins’s Grade 1 stars Annie Power, Douvan, Yorkhill and Apple’s Jade as he wore down the near £200,000 lead held by Nicholls going into the meeting and powered away to hold a £182,786 advantage by the end of Saturday.
Douvan and Yorkhill collected Grade 1s for Mullins on Saturday and Ivan Grozny, ridden by his nephew David Mullins, who landed the Grand National on Rule The World, also picked up £30,950 when winning the concluding handicap hurdle.
Even the shock fall from 1-5 shot Vautour on Friday was not enough to derail the Mullins juggernaut, and he has vowed to continue targeting races in Britain before the season ends at Sandown on April 23.
There may have been little time to rest, but Niven and Oiche Mhaith Boy proved that a 48-hour turnaround was no barrier to success as both followed up victories at Limerick on Thursday by winning again at Gowran Park on Saturday.
Niven left it late at Limerick but Shane Foley got the improving three-year-old to the front over a furlong from home on this occasion and the 2-1 shot held on grimly by half-a-length from Burma Star.
Killian Leonard took over from Kieran Fallon on Oiche Mhaith Boy in the 1m4f apprentice handicap and Kieran Purcell’s in-form mudlark, who was sent off 7-4 favourite, once again relished the underfoot conditions, stretching three lengths clear of Prussian Eagle at the line.
Punters could have seen a future star in the opening 7f juvenile maiden as the Dermot Weld-trained newcomer Discipline barely came out of second-gear in destroying his four rivals by seven and a half lengths under a motionless Pat Smullen.
Weld and Smullen completed a quick double half-an-hour later with The Moore Factor who proved much too good in the 7f maiden and the hat-trick was completed by Topaz Clear in the 1m4f maiden later on the card.
Radanpour was sent off a red-hot 4-7 favourite to provide Weld and Smullen with a four-timer in the concluding 1m6f contest but they proved no match for Toe The Line from the John Kiely stable who was nine lengths too good under Colin Keane.
Willie McCreery’s Elm Grove ploughed merrily through the mud in the 1m1f handicap under Billy Lee, winning by a massive 14 lengths.
Students flock to Tramore
Horse Racing Ireland held a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ Day at Tramore last week.
The objective of the ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ initiative was to build ties between the racecourses and their local community, encouraging an affinity with racing which will hopefully produce future racegoers.
The activities educate school children about racing and show them what happens behind-the-scenes at the racecourse.
A total of 231 fifth and sixth class pupils from five local schools took part in demonstrations from R.A.C.E. (Racing Academy & Centre of Education) and heard talks from jockey, Danny Mullins and trainer Noel Henley, about their day-to-day routines and life in racing.
The pupils also met racecourse manager, Sue Phelan, who explained how the team at Tramore Racecourse prepares for a raceday.
The children were entertained by ‘Front Runner – Racing Club for Kids’ with racing games, puzzles and quizzes.
Jane Davis, from Horse Racing Ireland showed the pupils racing silks, horse shoes, racing tack, and feed.
Limerick – Thursday (first race 2.15pm).
Ballinrobe – Friday (first race 4.55pm).
Dundalk – Friday (first race 5.35pm).
Cork – Saturday (first race 1.55pm).
Navan – Sunday (first race 2pm).