The champagne flows at Leopardstown as record breaker Patrick Mullins celebrates his 73rd winner of the year
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Zuzka will forever hold a special place in Patrick Mullins' heart as the daughter of Flemensfirth brought him to the 73 winners mark for the year, breaking the 97 year old amateur riders record which was set by Billy Parkinson way back in 1915.
Mullins equalled the record aboard Union Dues at Navan on December 16th and after four attempts at breaking it he done it today aboard the 11/10 favourite who is trained by his father Willie.
The 5yo mare ran a cracker to finish third in the Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse last time out and dropped back to Grade 3 company she showed her class as she came through to lead approaching the second last and kept on well from there to record an easy six and a half-length success.
The Jessica Harrington trained Burn And Turn ran well to finish second at 12/1 under Robbie Power while Glens Melody was a short head back in third under Ruby Walsh at 2/1.
Willie Mullins said afterwards: "Paul Townend got off her the last day and he said that she wanted the extra trip. She is improving all the time."
Mullins Senior went on to talk about his record breaking son, saying: "It is fantastic and I am delighted for Patrick. I would like to thank all our owners who have supported him over the year.
"Tony Sweeney made us aware of the record earlier in the year (Billy Parkinson was his uncle). We would also like to thank Father Moloney from Clongowes Wood who let Patrick out to ride when he was just sixteen and I believe that made a terrific difference to his riding career.
"It was a bit of a freak year with the wet weather and we were able to keep our horses going through the summer. Traditionally June, July and August are quiet months for us and our yard went a bit quiet in October but Patrick was still able to pick up a few rides from other yards.
"It is an extraordinary record and it will be hard to see it beaten."
Patrick Mullins added: "I was starting to think it might not happen in the last few days. I went down to Limerick but was not allowed to ride there but I am absolutely delighted that it has all worked out now.
"I don’t think I am riding any better, I think my Dad is just training better!"
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)