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Willie Mullins Stable Tour - Key quotes from Ireland's Champion Trainer

  • Willie Mullins' stable tour with Sporting Life ahead of the 2021/22 National Hunt season
  • Mullins has been crowned Ireland's Champion Trainer for 14 years in a row
  • Read the key quotes on all of Willie Mullins' stable stars
willie mullins gold cup
Irish jockey Paul Townend (L) and trainer Willie Mullins pose with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, (Getty)
Jon Vine 03 Nov 2021
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We bring you the key quotes from Willie Mullins' Stable Tour with Sporting Life, ahead of the new National Hunt season in 2021/22.

*All quotes taken from SportingLife*
    Table Of Contents
  • Willie Mullins Stable Tour 2021/22
  • Stable Stars
  • Bumper Horses
  • Novice Hurdlers
  • Older Hurdlers
  • Novice Chasers
  • Older Chasers

Willie Mullins Stable Tour 2021/22


Stable Stars


Appreciate It2022 Arkle Challenge TrophyGET 3/1 HERE
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Al Boum Photo

I think we'll start a little earlier this year. Last year, due to COVID, he probably had too long a break and I think it might not have helped him. We may go for Tramore again after a comeback run and he might run again before Cheltenham, as all roads lead to the Gold Cup again. We could start off in the John Durkan. Hopefully we can get him back to what he was as last year I don't think he was at his best.

Appreciate It

He's a really fine horse. I think there has been talk of him going down the Champion Hurdle route but I think we'll probably need to go the novice chase route. I think he'll be well up for that given his pedigree. He gave his owner a great season last year and I thought he was going to be a staying hurdler so he astounded me what he was able to do over two miles. The Sporting Life Arkle is the dream.

Chacun Pour Soi

I’d imagine he’ll go down the same route as last year and will run over two and two-and-a-half miles, taking in whatever races he can. I haven’t got a start off point for him yet but he'll have entries in the Tingle Creek, John Durkan and Hilly Way.

Bumper Horses


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Allegorie De Vassey

A filly by No Risk At All that we bought from France. She was placed a couple of times over hurdles, is a fine big mare that will no doubt jump a fence some day.

Goven

We got a very nice five-year-old gelding by Poliglote from Martinstown. He’s a really super-looking horse and hopefully he’s as good as he looks.

Pink In The Park

She was hugely impressive at Listowel on her debut. I’ve given her a break and we’ll probably try and follow the Grangee route and go for the mares’ bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival then come back to Punchestown, that would look like the sort of route we’d be going down. She’s from the Morley Street-Granville Again pedigree, she’s by Walk In The Park who I like, so she could go all the way. She’s a very exciting filly.

kilcruit
Sir Gerhard (left) and Kilcruit (right) running in last year's Champion Bumper. (Getty)

Novice Hurdlers

Adamantly Chosen

He’s closely-related to Adamant Approach and is one who will probably want another half mile over hurdles. We’ll find a nice spot to start him out but as the season progresses I’d imagine he’ll want to go further.

Belle Metal

She was very impressive at Limerick having won at Naas before that on very heavy ground. We put her away, she jumps very well and had done a lot of schooling before winning bumpers and she’s one of the novice hurdlers we’re really looking forward to this season.

Brandy Love

She won her point well and won her bumper well but possibly trained off a little towards the end of the season. She is one we’re really looking forward to going over hurdles. She’s by Jet Away who has been making waves in the National Hunt game and this mare won’t be an embarrassment to him.

Classic Getaway

He was hugely impressive when winning on his first start for us at Tipperary. Patrick came in and said to me that he never came out of third gear. I think we'll be novice hurdling with him.

Dark Raven

He looks like a horse who will be a good stayer in the novice hurdle division this season.

Farout

He goes for the Royal Bond Hurdle at Fairyhouse. He was disappointing when beaten at Listowel last time when he was let down by his jumping and we’re hoping he’ll show more like his true ability at Fairyhouse.

Grangeclare West

While Classic Getaway and Grangeclare West won bumpers at the end of last season and are quite high in the betting for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, I’d imagine both horses will go novice hurdling at their age. Grangeclare West looked very impressive when winning at Punchestown and he shows plenty at home so I imagine he will be going the shorter route. He could be a Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle horse.

Grangee

She really impressed me when coming from way back to win her maiden bumper at Galway so we put her away for the Listed races. She impressed hugely at Leopardstown, ran a good race when sixth at Cheltenham and came back to Punchestown and won. She’s one I’m looking forward to going over hurdles with this season.

Jungle Boogie

He was very impressive in his runs last season. He’s a huge, tall horse who can sometimes be hard to keep right but he’s one we’re looking forward to in the staying hurdle division.

Kilcruit

He ran well in a bumper for my brother Tony and then we bought him. He was fantastic, I was hoping he'd made a good chaser down the line somewhere but he was fantastic as a bumper horse. He ran very well when second at the Cheltenham Festival and came out to turn the form around at Punchestown. He's by Stowaway, he's a very tall, light-framed horse and looking at what he did in bumpers I'd be inclined to go down the shorter route with him, we can always explore our way with him. I'm happy that's (two miles) where we'll start off and we'll be aiming for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle. He doesn't take an awful lot of work and he'll come to hand early enough.

Ramillies

He shows me a lot at home but has disappointed on the racetrack. He’s a fine, big chasing type and we got a little job done on his wind. I’m hoping that might bring about improvement and show us on the track what he shows me at home. I’d imagine he’ll be a staying novice hurdler.

Sir Gerhard

He looked fantastic at Cheltenham and ran very well again at Punchestown when third. He’s a horse we’ll be going novice hurdling with and you’d imagine he’s more a Ballymore horse than a Sky Bet Supreme horse, but we’ll let him tell us as the season progresses.

Take Tea

She’s a home-bred filly who was hugely impressive at Naas on heavy ground and on the second day I think the ground might have been a bit better than described (soft to heavy) but possibly she took too much out of herself from the first day. But she’s a filly I’m looking forward to over hurdles, she’ll probably want the staying division against mares.

Whatdeawant

He’s come back in good form and will start off over hurdles. I’d imagine he could go chasing but we’ll start him off and he’ll tell us.

klassical dream
Klassical Dream looks set for a tilt at the Stayers' Hurdle in 2022. (Getty)

Older Hurdlers


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Bachasson

He’s like a cat and has nine lives – he’s gone through about five or six already! His owner reminded me I’ve retired him about four times and he keeps coming back. He’s so strong and well on the gallops at the moment and I’d imagine we’ll do what we did last season, picking and choosing between hurdles and fences and find conditions races that suit him.

Ciel De Neige

Picked up a nice race at Sligo the other day and I’d imagine he will be campaigned in handicaps but we could think about going over fences with him. I’ll have a word with JP McManus and Frank Berry about that but we’ll see. He’s a horse I think could go out in trip. We’ve been campaigning him at two miles but based on his style of running, held up and coming through horses, further might suit.

Echoes In Rain

I’m really looking forward to her. I’d imagine she’ll start in the Morgiana and has lots of gears. She is maturing with every run over hurdles and is a mare I think can go a long way up the ladder. It can be hard going from novice up to open company, but if one can over hurdles it might be her this season.

Klassical Dream

He was brilliant when he came back, much better than I expected. I had in mind we were going to go chasing with him and have to reflect now and say the three mile staying hurdle route is a very viable option for him at this stage. We’ve had issues with soundness before and it would probably be easier to keep him sounder over hurdles, so I think we’ll probably go down the (Stayers' Hurdle) route with him.

M C Muldoon

He is a good dual-purpose horse and he disappointed at Newmarket when things didn’t go right for him in the Cesarewitch. He’d run a cracker at Royal Ascot before that. He will stay over hurdles for the season, he has a lovely rating but he needs to learn and pace himself when hurdling. He’s just brought a few bad habits I think from the Flat but we’re settling him down all the time. He’s big enough to jump a fence but we’ll stick to hurdles and either a big handicap or conditions races.

Purple Mountain

She won at Tipperary and lots of people thought she was unfortunate after a last-flight fall, and she might have been. She runs at Down Royal this weekend, I’m a little bit worried going into the winter with her, given her pedigree, but we’ll campaign her in the mares’ novice category this season. But she might need a mid-winter break, we’ll keep options open as she keeps on winning. I’m hoping she’ll keep improving.

Saint Roi

I didn’t enter him at Tipperary and put him in the Morgiana, but I’m schooling him over fences and he jumps well. I’d like to go chasing with him but we’ll see how things go in the next few weeks before we finally make up our mind. He’s a good jumper of hurdles and while not the biggest horse in the world, has a great method. I think he deserves a crack at fences. We thought a lot of him last season and felt he might be a Champion Hurdle horse – he might be a Sporting Life Arkle horse this time.

Saldier

Saldier has been busy on the Flat and over hurdles during the summer, winning the Galway Hurdle and the race at Tipperary. He’s entered in the Morgiana which he could turn up in, or the Hatton’s Grace. We’ll probably decide on one or the other. The Hatton’s Grace would look more his cup of tea, we’ll see how he gets on there before deciding any targets.

Sharjah

He’ll probably start off in the Morgiana Hurdle and is another horse who loves Leopardstown at Christmas. I’m not sure he’s as effective at the Dublin Racing Festival so we’ll see what happens this year. Maybe we’ll skip that and go straight to Cheltenham and see if we can go one better in the Champion Hurdle. We might try something different in the spring with him to bring out a bit of improvement.

Shewearsitwell

She’s back and going well. She’s good and strong and will probably go down the mares’ hurdle route as well.

Stormy Ireland

She’s in good form. We gave her a spin on the flat at Down Royal and I was a little disappointed with her but she was probably beaten by a good horse on the day. We’ll keep her to hurdles this season and I’m looking at a place to start with her. There’s a race at Cork that might suit.

*All quotes taken from Sporting Life*

galopin des champs
Galopin Des Champs winning the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham. (Getty)

Novice Chasers


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Blue Lord

He’s inclined to be a little keen but is a fine, big horse who should take to chasing better than he did hurdling. He ran a great race before falling at the last in the Sky Bet Supreme when he’d have finished second to Appreciate It. I’ll probably be looking at the two mile division this season.

Capodanno

A lovely, big, long-striding horse and every inch a staying chaser in my book. He’ll start out over fences and is a horse I’d imagine lots of jockeys will want to ride. He just does things so effortlessly.

Concertista

We’ll go novice chasing with her. She has the size to cope with fences well.

El Barra

He showed a nice turn of foot to win his point-to-point and we were initially disappointed with him over hurdles but by the end of the season he’d put it together. He’s one who will make a name for himself over fences.

Elixir D'Ainay

Looks well and forward and should make a nice chaser this season. He’s a horse we were really looking forward to going over fences with but unfortunately he met with a setback but is back now and we’ll get him going early this time.

Ferny Hollow

He beat Bob Olinger, who went on to frank the form all last year, when winning the Cheltenham bumper. He hurt himself that day so we thought we'd give him the season off. He's not a maiden over hurdles, he looks like a chaser and he's matured hugely for his season off. We'll pop him over a few fences and have a word with connections - I imagine we'll go novice chasing with him. If it doesn't work out he can always go back hurdling.

Gentleman De Mee

He’s a very busy horse every morning on the gallop, he takes a bit of riding. He’s the same on the track and that’s why he wears a hood. He can be too keen and throw away his chance. He’s well handicapped over hurdles but maybe he should go novice chasing, it hasn’t been decided yet. It might settle him down and bring about more of his ability.

Gaillard Du Mesnil

He looks a fine horse to go novice chasing. He’ll want a trip over fences and jumps very well and will start off in a novice somewhere. As the season progresses he will be a stayer at trips like two-and-a-half miles.

Galopin Des Champs

He improved all year last season and has grown nicely again. He's probably a horse we'll go novice chasing with and he's come back quite fit I think - he seems to be getting himself ready much faster than last season. I'm sure he's one we might see out earlier in terms of the novice chasers. He surprised me the improvement he made from Cheltenham to the Punchestown Festival, I think Sean (O'Keeffe) gave him a great ride at Cheltenham and the horse was encouraged by that win.

Ganapathi

He’ll go chasing, he looked a good sort last season and I think he jumps well enough to make an impact in the two mile division.

Gauloise

She’s a lovely filly. I’d imagine she’ll be novice chasing this year and looks a good, strong filly with a good jump in her. She’s strong enough to go over fences.

Haut En Couleurs

He was third in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. He looks a lovely type to go novice chasing with. He was a little unlucky at Punchestown last season but that sort of form going novice chasing is good and he’s a big chasing type.

Jon Snow

He beat some nicely-weighted horses in a couple of summer novice hurdles and we will give him a chance over fences. He won’t start out early in the season as he had a little issue but he’s back in work now and will be out around Christmas time over fences.

Saint Sam

He ran a cracker in the Fred Winter, just beaten by Jeff Kidder. We kept him going when we bought him from France which isn’t what we usually do. He’s not the biggest horse in the world but we could start over fences as trying to win a staying hurdle with a five-year-old might be difficult.

Stattler

He looks an out-and-out stayer and will be going novice chasing this season. He looks tailor-made for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham and if he’s better than that could be a RSA horse but I think the trip is everything for him.

allaho
Jockey Rachael Blackmore rides horse Allaho to win The Ryanair Chase on Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

Older Chasers


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Acapella Bourgeois

He’s back in training and if he comes back to form there could be a nice race in him somewhere. He will probably be aimed at races like the Troytown and Thyestes. At his age now we are hopeful rather than expectant.

Annamix

He’s shaping up like a horse who could win a big handicap. He’s in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and they’re the type of races we’ll be looking at. He’s versatile and you can run him over fences or over hurdles in that kind of division.

Allaho

He put in some exhibition in the Ryanair Chase, I was really impressed with his jumping and how Rachael Blackmore got on with him. He just kept jumping and jumping and the trip really suited him. He's by No Risk At All, I'm just wondering if he'd have all that stamina needed for the Gold Cup trip. We'd have to look at the King George, I think connections would be delighted if we brought him over for that. That's three miles but horses who don't have Gold Cup stamina can win there. We'll see where we start him off as I brought him back to two miles at Punchestown and Chacun Pour Soi beat him, but I still haven't given up all hope he could win a Champion Chase over two miles. The Ryanair again looks nailed on but we'll see what happens through the season and he certainly looks great at the moment.

Asterion Forlonge

He looks better going right-handed but I think he’s just come right. If I can keep him in the sort of form he was in at Punchestown in the spring then he could go all the way to the top. He could be a Gold Cup horse, even if it is going the wrong way for him. He jumped straight enough in the Marsh Chase at Cheltenham. Even as a pointer he jumped a little to the right and maybe it’s something we’ll never be able to change.

Billaway

He’ll have his first run of the year in a week or so in a hunter chase. He goes down that route again and we’re getting him out early. I think he benefits from running regularly and his aim will probably be to go one better in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham in March.

Burrows Saint

He ran a cracker in the Grand National last year and he had every chance going to the second last. You would think the Topham might be his aim there as he just ran out of puff in the National. However, we could try and get a bit more improvement out of him and go back for the big one, we’ll see how his season progresses.

Castlebawn West

He’s back in pre-training and a little behind all the others. I imagine it will be a spring campaign for him and looking at how well he won in Leopardstown last season, and with a rating of over 160, he’s probably on the shortlist for the Irish Gold Cup back there.

Easy Game

He’s earning his keep all the time and we’ll probably keep him to races where the ground is nice. He might travel to England to get better ground as our season gets going. Ground is the key to him and he’s a middle-distance horse with possibly a flat track suiting him too. If it gets too wet we might give him a break and bring him back for the spring.

Elimay

She looks good and strong this year and I’d imagine the Mrs Paddy Power Chase at Cheltenham will be her aim again. She was second in it last year and we’ll plan a route to that.

Energumene

He’s come back very well. We’re very pleased with him and I’d imagine we’ll stick to the two miles route as much as we can. He's another who'll be put in the Hilly Way and John Durkan.

Franco De Port

He won the Racing Post Novices’ Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas and I probably went the wrong route with him after that thinking he’d make a two miler. I think he’s more of a stayer and probably a lot of things went his way that day. This year I’m going to go down the staying route with him and he’s come along nicely. He found things happening too quickly for him early on in those two mile races so going over further things go more slowly early and it gives him more of a chance to get into his races. He could be nicely handicapped over a trip so he might get an entry in some nice handicap chases.

Janidil

He’ll probably make into a staying chaser this season. He’s maturing all the time and getting stronger. I’d imagine he’s just too high in the handicap to be winning those so we’ll be looking at Grade Two and Grade Three chases with him and maybe a Grade One by the end of the season if he keeps improving.

Kemboy

He’ll be aimed at Leopardstown's Christmas Festival and possibly be aimed at the John Durkan before that. He’ll then go to the Dublin Racing Festival as he seems to really like that track at Leopardstown. I’m not sure he’ll go to Cheltenham, he could wait for Aintree this year instead before coming back to Punchestown.

Maze Runner

I still think there’s a nice handicap in him where we can get in off a low weight. He’ll give his owner some fun for the rest of the season.

Melon

He’s back on the go. He shows flashes of really good form and there could be a good day in him. We’re probably going to go a longer trip again this year and might go down the three mile route. Hopefully he can put it all together.

Royal Rendezvous

He had a great season, winning the Galway Plate and PWC Champion Chase at Gowran and is doing everything right. His style of racing means he’s not an out-and-out stayer. He likes to get on with the job. He did settle a bit more last year though and I’m sure his owners would love to go to the Randox Grand National with him, but we’re thinking more of the two-and-a-half mile route, probably starting in the Clonmel Oil. We’ll see where that takes us. He might be a spring horse and we’ll try and plot something for him.

Tornado Flyer

He’s just back and looks well. He always starts a season well but then disappoints and we’ll be aiming for Grade Two or Three chases. He’s probably too high in the handicaps to go down that route but will pick and choose our races on the way to Cheltenham.

*All quotes taken from SportingLife*

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