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Mullins v Nicholls

31st March 2016
Can mercurial Mullins win the British jump trainers championship?

Surely a trainer based in County Carlow in the south east of Ireland can’t wrest the British jump trainers’ championship this year from the powerful stables of Paul Nicholls or Nicky Henderson can they? Well, when it’s Willie Mullins anything is possible.

Well, at the time of writing this, the incredible Mullins bandwagon, fresh from chalking up 7 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, is perilously close to Paul Nicholls in the table. The winner is decided on prize money and at present, Nicholls has amassed £1,883,797 to Mullins £1,727,618. In terms of numbers of winners Nicholls leads 95 to 17, but of course Willie has steamrollered the British trainers in many of the big races.

Of his 7 winners at the recent festival, Willie’s most successful owner Rich Ricci and his wife were responsible for 5 including some of the real stars of racing in Annie Power, Vautour and Douvan.

So it may come down to the Aintree meeting next week and possibly the Grand National itself, where Mullins is threatening to run 4 or 5 in the big race. Paul Nicholls, victorious with Neptune Collonges in a thrilling finish a couple of years ago spearheads his challenge with the outstanding Silviniaco Conti.

Of course the National throws up many shocks so it may be that neither trainer picks up much prize money, but it does add extra spice to what has been a fantastic jumps season.
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