Home » Willie Mullins: Irish trainer gets Ludlow winner in British title bid

Willie Mullins: Irish trainer gets Ludlow winner in British title bid

Since training I Am Maximus to win the National at Aintree 11 days ago, to become a real live contender, Mullins has made no secret of his desire to go all out and financially outflank Britain’s top trainers.

The plan, ever since Aintree, was “to enter everything qualified in whatever races and see what happens”.

Whereas the jockeys’ title is decided on who has the most winners, for the trainers it is all about who wins the most money.

Mullins began the day on £3,087,248, but Warwickshire-based Skelton (£2,907,463) and Somerset’s Nicholls (£2,834,334) are still within touching distance and capable of overhauling Mullins if they have a good day at Sandown, where there is a total pot of £700,000 on offer in prize money.

After four winners from 18 entries at Ayr on Saturday, capped by outsider Macdermott’s shock victory in the Scottish National, and a short odds-on winner at Ffos Las on Monday, it speaks volumes that Team Mullins are warming up for Sandown by chasing such comparatively small prizes.

If Dr Eggman (£4,357), Daddy Long Legs (£4,357), Loughglynn (£14,238), Instit (£18,509) and Figaroc (£8,714) had all finished first, collectively they would have earned less than a tenth of the £500,000 that I Am Maximus earned at Liverpool – British jump racing’s biggest prize.

As it was, the Mullins haul on Wednesday came to £18,640, into which Nicholls, who did have a winner in Scotland when Bryony Frost rode Ioupy Collonges to victory, was hoping to make further inroads at the evening meeting at one of his local Somerset tracks – and Cobden got him off to a great start.

But every victory counts. And to have been chasing a first prize of £4,357 at Ludlow was a measure of Mullins’ immense will to win.