27 April 2024

Willie Mullins seals first British trainers’ title

27 April 2024

Willie Mullins has become the first Irish-based trainer since Vincent O’Brien 70 years ago to be crowned champion over jumps in Britain.

While odds-on favourite El Fabiolo suffered defeat in the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown, the second prize of £36,329 was enough to seal victory over Dan Skelton, whose Nube Negra finished fifth to take home £4,556.

Skelton started the day over £162,000 behind Mullins and the Grade One result meant he would not be able to win enough money in the remaining races to take the win.

A first British title tops another stellar season for Mullins, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Galopin Des Champs and Champion Hurdle with State Man, as well as landing the Grand National with I Am Maximus.

“It’s been a fantastic year and I have to thank my owners who said whatever you need to bring to England, bring them to England,” said Mullins.

“Between my owners and staff what more could you ask for and that’s a good team of horses, I suppose. When you start off with the right people the horses will come.

“Vincent O’Brien is the legend of the game and to do something he did is extraordinary and something we never even thought of or could comprehend doing. We’re delighted, everyone at Closutton is very happy.”

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