Grand National-winning rider David Mullins shocked the racing world when announcing his retirement in January this year. Now venturing into the world of bloodstock and training pointers, the 25-year-old talked to Myracing ahead of the National Hunt Season.
What have you been doing since retiring from the saddle?
“I didn’t have anything planned straight away. I wanted a bit of time to figure things out after stopping. I decided to start buying a few stores to go point-to-pointing and training horses in that format too.
“I’m looking to buy some fillies’ too at the store sales to see how they do as race mares. There’s some good prize money incentives for mares’ now so it’s a good thing to get involved with and try to take advantage of.”
Do you have any regrets since retiring?
“Not at all. Even when Kemboy won a Grade 1 at Leopardstown a week or two after I retired. I wouldn’t have minded being there for that day to win a few quid because I’d ridden him on his most recent run over Christmas, but I still didn’t want to be there too badly and that confirmed riding wasn’t for me anymore.
“I’ve got plenty going on now to keep me busy. I wasn’t enjoying it anymore and definitely still think I made the right decision.”
Are you enjoying what you’re doing now?
“I love judging horses and always have, that’s the reason why I became a jockey. I loved riding young horses in bumpers and now I’m at the other side of things it’s really interesting.
“I love seeing the progression of the horse and seeing the raw material of them at the store sales. Seeing them grow, develop and eventually make the track is incredibly rewarding and something that I want to carry on doing.
“I’ve been at the Young Horse Championships too watching my girlfriend Susan do some showjumping, which I’ve really enjoyed recently.”
Is it strange not being involved now the National Hunt season is starting?
“I wouldn’t say strange. I’m excited to have a few point-to-pointers out and hopefully a few of them can go to the sales. I’m excited by what we’re doing at home and seeing young horses improve every week.”
What are your future plans?
“My door is still open to anything in the future. I wouldn’t mind TV work or training a few more pointers.
“I’m not sure I’d have the personality for the big owners if I started training at a higher level, but I’d be more than happy with a few point to pointers and maybe the odd bumper horse!”
Can you give us a horse to follow this season?
“Happy Du Mesnil is one for my father to watch out for, he’s come from France. He has been catching the eye at home and should go for a maiden hurdle around November time.”
What do you think to Ruby Walsh and the IHRB’s new mental health app for jockeys?
“It can only be good for the sport. I know Ruby wouldn’t be involved if he didn’t fully agree that it could help racing.
“He was magnificent for all young jockeys at the yard, a superb example to all in the sport.
“He was always there to help you, even if it was advice to make you better than him, although that wasn’t possible because there wasn’t anyone better than him overall.”
What do you make of Gordon Elliott’s recent return to the sport?
“I think he’s done his time now and we should all move on. If you weren’t fully against him when the story came out then you were as bad as him and if you weren’t on his side the week after you were a villain as well.
“He should be allowed to get on with his job, get on with his life and move forward.”