Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Mullins enters record books

Willie Mullins congratulates son Patrick after Zuzka carried him into the record books at Leopardstown

Patrick Mullins broke the long-standing record for the number of winners from an amateur jockey in a calendar year when steering Zuzka home for his father Willie in the IBTA Fillies Scheme EBF Mares Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Zuzka provided him with his 73rd victory of 2012 to overtake Billy Parkinson, who had 72 winners way back in 1915.

Mullins rode his first winner as a 16-year-old in 2006 and enjoyed a cosy triumph on the 11-10 favourite. Jumping into the lead at the second-last flight, Zuzka quickened clear to score by six and a half lengths from Burn And Turn, with Mullins' other runner Glens Melody just behind in third.

The record-breaking rider said: "To achieve the record on the second last day of the year was extra special. I was lucky enough to equal it a couple of weeks back but I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever get to 73 winners!

"I owe it all to Dad of course. We had such a great summer and it wasn't until September that we thought there might be a chance of making an attempt at the record. I have to thank Ruby as well as he let me ride Zuzka today. I'm just lucky to be in a position to ride these horses."

A proud father said: "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 16 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."

Of Zuzka, the trainer said: "Paul Townend got off her the last day and he said that she wanted the extra trip. She is improving all the time."

The amateur capped a memorable day with an easy win on Outlander (9-4 favourite) in the Thornton's Recycling Flat Race to give his father a treble.

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