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Victorious Mullins makes merry with Livelovelaugh at Aintree


Patrick Mullins on his way to victory yesterday

Patrick Mullins on his way to victory yesterday

Patrick Mullins on his way to victory yesterday

Livelovelaugh turned the Randox Topham Handicap Chase into a procession for Patrick and Willie Mullins at Aintree yesterday..

Having set off at what seemed a particularly brisk pace in the early stages, Livelovelaugh had burned everything else off crossing the Melling Road.

Mullins had got his mount into a fantastic rhythm, but when the pursuers began to close up as the field raced back on to the racecourse proper, it was a question of how much was going to be left in the tank.

The 11-year-old briefly looked in trouble - but Mullins had saved plenty on the 15-2 shot and put the race to bed approaching the Elbow.

Livelovelaugh had run in the Grand National itself two years ago and looked a non-stayer in 11th behind Tiger Roll.

Pink Eyed Pedro was second at 33-1, four and a half lengths away, with Senior Citizen third and Snugsborough Hall fourth.

Mullins, who replaced the injured Paul Townend, was emulating his father, who won over the fences aboard the Paddy Mullins-trained Atha Cliath in 1983 Foxhunters.

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He steps in for Townend again in the Rich and Susannah Ricci colours on Burrows Saint in the big one today.

Mullins said: "Incredible. Every jockey wants to win over the Grand National fences. It's something you'd like to do before you retire. My father did it on Atha Cliath in the Foxhunters' in 1983. I got some spin there. If I could bottle that I'd take it home.

"It's great to get one on the board the day before tomorrow. I wanted to get out, get away and over the first four fences near the font rank and get a break before the bend and let him jump and enjoy himself.

"I hadn't asked him to go forward. He was just enjoying himself."

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