Before The Roar Ep. 3 – Behind The Scenes Cheltenham Festival Series

Willie Mullins at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival

After visits to the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate in episode one and French bloodstock agents in episode two, Hayley Moore visits the Closutton-based Mullins dynasty.

Associated with horse racing for over fifty years, the Mullins’ name has become synonymous with success at the Cheltenham Festival. From grandfather Paddy, to his son Willie and the youngest to take up the mantle, jockey Patrick, it’s not a real Festival without them. Take advantage of bet365’s new customer offer here, giving you up to £100 in bet credits ahead of the greatest show on turf.

Episode 3

Based in the South East of Ireland, the Mullins family have horse racing in their veins. They’re never far away from Cheltenham Festival glory, whether that’s father Willie training winners or his son Patrick riding them.

The latter grew up walking the gallop behind his father and grandfather, and his earliest memory in the saddle is being thrown off ponies whilst waiting for his father to watch his string go out. A promising footballer in his younger days, as soon as he started riding, it was the only thing about which he cared.

Willie describes the huge promise that Patrick showed from such an early age. He also expresses his pride in his son managing to forge a career in riding despite his size, previously believing that his weight would catch up with him by his early twenties.

Assistant trainer David Casey explains the factors that make Patrick such an effective rider. His excellent judgment of pace and shrewd tactics in part explain his successful career which has seen him ride more than 600 winners.

The first of those winners for his father Willie was very special for Patrick. He expresses the greater pressure he feels when riding a favourite, a regular occurrence given the strength of the Mullins’ yard. With that pressure though, comes a greater reward when guiding a jolly to victory.

Whilst Patrick is an important cog in the whole Mullins’ machine, personal success drives him on. His rivalry with his father Willie, himself a talented rider a few decades back, is an important motivator for him. He’s hoping to get onboard Carefully Selected in the National Hunt Chase, a big animal with a head like a dinosaur who’s quicker than he looks.

Success onboard Carefully Selected would give the younger Mullins a third success in the race, one more than his father Willie managed. Mother Jackie is eager for her son to overcome her husband.

For Patrick, nothing compares to riding a winner at the Cheltenham Festival. His family name, through his grandfather, father, uncles as well as cousins is synonymous with success at the greatest show on turf, and you can guarantee the name will be up in lights more than once next week.

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