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Willie Mullins seals historic 100th Cheltenham Festival win

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Major Mullins winners over the years read like a who’s who of racing stars – Florida Pearl, Hedgehunter, Hurricane Fly, Quevega, Faugheen, Vautour, Douvan, Annie Power… the list goes on.

Even when Mullins lost a major backer five years ago, he regrouped and went on to even greater success.

The withdrawal of horses owned by Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud in a row over training fees could have been damaging long term.

Mullins lost around 60 horses – a third of his yard’s occupants. He did not stand still.

“In his early 60s instead of consolidating, he went out and got more horses and more owners,” said Patrick.

“Then there’s the calibre of staff here and the owners he has built. He has made the very most of everything he has been able to.”

Mullins senior has his own way of doing things – a Christmas present to himself was a bespoke mini weather station for his Closutton yard in County Carlow using a special app on his phone.

Asked what it was like working with him, Patrick said: “Several headaches. He could say something one day and then give out the next day for doing it.

“He is always chopping and changing. He can’t be told no. He has outside the box thinking, at times it can be like man from the moon, but enough times it works.

“He is a funny man in that the more you try to tell him to do something, the more he will try to do the opposite.”

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