Six years ago, David Mullins was already well known in National Hunt circles. He introduced himself to the wider general public when victorious on Rule The World for Mouse Morris in the Grand National, one of the biggest races in the world.
David had an excellent Aintree record, finishing second a couple of years later on Pleasant Company behind one of the all-time National greats in the shape of Tiger Roll.
The 25-year-old retired from riding last year, and has since turned his hand to bloodstock. He purchased Cheltenham winner Belfast Banter for some owners in the US for big money a few months ago, and has a Grand National runner in this year’s edition that he purchased as a three-year-old. myracing caught up the the Grade 1-winning rider ahead of the Aintree Festival.
I remember it very well. The day, the occasion, it was great. The thrill I had then, I kind of get that now just from talking about it. Wherever you go, everyone asks you about it all of the time. I don’t think, if I rode any other winner in the world, it wouldn’t stick out as much as the National. Even winning the Gold Cup or Champion Hurdle, I think the race that everyone remembers is the Grand National. I think it’s the biggest thing you can win as a jockey and I’m very excited to watch it again this year.
No, of course not! I’ll always be very proud of it. It’s a great story to tell and I’ll never get bored of people asking me.
I got my instructions from Mouse Morris the night before the Grand National. He told me “David, go out and have two drinks. Then make sure you sleep well!”. They were the only instructions I ever received. You can’t give instructions in the National. Try and get in the middle of the pack or handy, and just see how it goes from there.
There’s an element of luck to it, of course. The important thing is to get into an early rhythm. It helps if you’re behind one jumping or travelling well, and always keeping an eye out for what’s happening on the Canal Turn or if any fences get bypassed. You have to be in a rhythm the whole way and if you’re not, it’s pretty impossible to win it.
Any Second Now had no luck at all last year, he ran a remarkable race. He had no run around and still managed to finish second. This has been his target for a number of years and I’d have to give him another chance. If I could pick any ride, he’d be it.
There was just a lot of concentration. The two boys ahead of me kept bumping into each other. I thought things would open up lovely for me at The Elbow, and so it proved and that was it from there.
It’s going very well. I helped a buyer in the US buy Belfast Banter as we thought he really fitted the US profile. He was a great purchase with the prize money out there. There’s a nice market in America and, with a bit of luck, he’ll do very well over there.
I’ve been buying plenty of horses for good trainers and been involved at the store sales. I also bought a National runner, Court Maid, for 1,800 euro as a three-year-old. She’s changed stables to Henry de Bromhead and I think she’s a cracking each-way chance at 80-1.
I think she carries 10’11. She ran a cracker the last day behind Elimay, who was so impressive at Cheltenham last month. I’ll certainly be roaring her home.