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    "Game on": Mullins is Very Much Focused on Winning the British Trainers' Title
"Game on": Mullins is Very Much Focused on Winning the British Trainers' Title
"Game on": Mullins is very much focused on winning the British trainers' title. Source: theirishfield.ie

"Game on": Mullins is Very Much Focused on Winning the British Trainers' Title

After I Am Maximus gave him a second Randox Grand National victory, Willie Mullins said that it was "game on" in his quest for the first British trainers' championship. 

It has taken him 19 years to repeat his Hedgehunter victory, but he is now so dominant in the National Hunt scene on both sides of the Irish Sea that he is a major favourite to win a title in a nation he does not even reside in.

Since Mullins once again demonstrated his dominance at the Cheltenham Festival by winning the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup, the possibility of following in the footsteps of the renowned Vincent O'Brien, who accomplished it in consecutive years in the 1950s, has loomed big.

With one caveat, Mullins himself downplayed the possibility — that is, unless he won the £1 million National.

Out of the eight runners for the yard, I Am Maximus was sent off as the 7-1 favourite under Paul Townend, and although he had one or two nervous moments, which usually par for the course in a Grand National, he rarely looked like losing.

British race fans haven't seen the last of the Closutton man this season, as Mullins is now the 8–15 favourite with a lead of about £40,000 over Dan Skelton, according to Paddy Power.

“I didn’t know we’d gone in front. You can expect to see us at Sandown, Ayr and wherever! I’d love to win the championship,” he said.

Vincent O’Brien has done it in the 1950s and it is something different to do. Even Mullins is surprised at how much quality there is in his yard. Winning the National, Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle is outstanding even for him.

“You might have the favourites for all those races, but you don’t for one minute think you are going to win all three,” he said.

“We have a different programme nowadays to when Vincent won it. I find the English programme very hard to navigate, it seems to be a lot of handicaps and that is tough on horses,” Mullins said.

“Paul has a title of his own to try to win so I’m not sure if he’ll be coming over, he’s got four winners to make up on Jack Kennedy.”

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