Away We Go leads over the last
©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
Time certainly doesn't wait for Willie Mullins and, half an hour after equaling Aidan O'Brien's record for amount of winners trained (155) in one season, broke the seventeen year old record when his Away We Go won the attheraces.com Exclusive Barry Geraghty Blog Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse today.
O'Brien managed his huge haul of 155 winners from 769 runners (20% strike-rate) in 1995/96 but Mullins' feat of having 156 winners from just 448 runners (35% strike-rate) is almost incredible, and with more than three months of the season left, is sure to create an enormous record which even he may find hard to better.
Mullins later explained “a big factor has been the wet summer - we kept going with a number of horses that we would otherwise throw out to grass but I didn't bother throwing them out and kept them in.
“Normally we wouldn't get going until October but by then, we had a huge amount of winners and the easy ground made that possible. It was only in the last couple of weeks than someone said to me about Aidan's record.
“We just take it day by day and every day we go racing we just hope for one winner.”< Away We Go was in fact Mullins', and retained rider Paul Townend's, second of the day and the five times Champion Trainer added “we eventually got around to putting a tongue-strap on Away We Go – he has been a bit in-and-out but can't handle the heavy ground and when the ground dries out he'll improve.
“We'll step him up in trip now and we might stick him in the Irish National and see what weight he gets - he has shown a liking for this track.”
Quotes from Gary Carson