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Willie Mullins (15 September 1956) is an Irish racehorse trainer and former jockey from Goresbridge, County Kilkenny but now based in Closutton, Muine Bheag, County Carlow in Ireland. He started his training career in 1988 after working as assistant to his father Paddy Mullins and to Jim Bolger. His father trained for 52 years and enjoyed his last big win at the age of 84 when Vintage Tipple won the Irish Oaks in 2003 when ridden by Frankie Dettori. Willie's brothers Tom and Tony are also trainers. Willie is a former six times amateur champion jockey in Ireland winning the 1983 Aintree Fox Hunters' Chase on Atha Cliah and the 1996 Cheltenham Bumper on Wither Or Which.


Most would agree Willie Mullins is now the best National Hunt Trainer both in Ireland and the UK and holds a clear edge over rivals Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson which shows no sign of narrowing. Our figures prove it conclusively. They show he has trained the highest number of winners, has the best strike-rate and, has won much more in prize money than his two main rivals. Furthermore, he operates successfully in both countries and adept at training Flat horses. For example, since January 2013 he has saddled 41 Flat winners from 196 runners for a 21% strike-rate and a level stake profit of +27.92pts, this includes 6-14 with his 3yos on Turf at 43% and a level stake profit of +32pts. The total prize money accrued stands at £822,511.

The NH figures below make for interesting reading and provide much needed context (from April 2013 to today):

UK Win Run S/R Prize money
Willie Mullins 63 370 17% £5,524,955
Paul Nicholls 557 2402 23% £10,875,630
Nicky Henderson 510 2111 24% £8,539,072
Willie Mullins 772 2452 31% £13,897,180
Paul Nicholls 2 18 11% £184,829
Nicky Henderson 6 49 12% £375,694
Willie Mullins 835 2822 30% £19,422,135
Paul Nicholls 557 2415 23% £11,060,459
Nicky Henderson 516 2160 24% £8,914,766

 Figures last updated 25th July 2017


 The Racing Horse cannot understand why Nicholls and Henderson does not send more horses to Ireland to contest those big prizes and eight wins between them since April 2013 looks a pitiful return given their iconic status, as does the respective 11% and 12% strike-rates. Incredibly, Nicholls has not raced a single NHF runner there and only three hurdlers. Henderson is 0-5 from his NHF runners but 4-25 with hurdlers and 2-19 with chasers. Conversely, Mullins has returned home to Ireland with 63 UK winners in the same five-season period and a 17% rate which include Cheltenham runners which of course are the hardest races to win! Removing all Cheltenham runners from these statistics gives him 36 winners from 150 runners for a 24% strike-rate in the UK.


Since his relationship with Gigginstown House Stud abruptly ended on 28th September 2016 and losing 60 horses we have witnessed Willie Mullins treading new ground. We decided to investigate the effect of this loss and ask the question of whether the sour relationship was very healthy going forward? As always we look for context before drawing conclusions.

  Wins Runs S/R
February to July 2017 81 299 27%
February to July 2016 80 241 33%
February to July 2015 79 284 28%
February to July 2014 74 277 27%

 Figures last updated 25th July 2017


What do the figures tell us - if anything? It tells us plenty! Despite enduring a stressful season he has ridden-out the mass exodus maliciously manufactured by the ego-antics of Michael O'Leary over a supposed rise in training fees. The fact is he trained more winners post the Gigginstown reversal over the same period this year, obviously the strike-rate is down because the quality of the horses have not been replaced. We are surprised to see his 2017 win figures on a par or higher than those of 2014 and 2015.


Losing a huge amount of good to excellent horses overnight is bound to leave a void whilst disrupting and distracting seasonal and year-long plans. The fact Mullins did not experience a drop in winning numbers was not a coincidence and you can be sure of that. Clearly there was a concerted effort to show it had not damaged moral or affected team performance. His message to the racing world was that confidence remained high and normal service had been resumed and pretty damn quickly! No other trainer we know of could have coped with a similar loss in a similar fashion. It has been a remarkable achievement!


Going forward, the removal of Michael O'Leary from the planning landscape can prove to be a huge positive and there are two owners at least who will be overjoyed about the news. Susannah and Rich Ricci had 41 horses running for Mullins last season which equated to 23% of the stock whilst Andrea and Graham Wylie had 14, so between them 55 horses and 30% of the stable quotient. Despite their affability they would have been absolutely fed up with working around the O'Leary interference and disruption and the consequent dilution of big race winners. If the truth was known Mullins is probably glad to see the back of him also and we look forward to reading the book. He can now strategically target races without walking on egg shells, this in turn will help give us a clearer picture regarding race objectives, one side of the Mullins operation a lot of pundits struggle with.


Gigginstown said the decision to leave Mullins had been made with 'considerable regret' and this lazy phrase insulted both the situation and a decent man. True greatness tends to be measured at Cheltenham Festivals and looking back at 2017 fools, cynics and conspiracy theorists snided that Mullins was now holed below the waterline and awaited the consequent car-crash. Day 1 & 2 the trainer sent out 25 runners without a winner but the Closutton maestro sent out a four-timer on the Thursday before two more on the Friday so 6-20 on Day 3 & 4. A lasting memory was the dignity and professional calm exuded by Mullins despite enduring a miserable start but clearly his knowledge, wisdom and experience helped him cope and will be even stronger for the experience. We eagerly await the next chapter...


So is there a way we can profit from following this great trainer? Well yes, there is. It is a little obvious to many and very obvious to some but what we suggest/advise shows no sign of stopping or suffering fatigue, though as always finding value remains the key element. The world of professional betting knows how good Mullins is at preparing a horse for a National Hunt Flat Race and especially first time up (wins 43% of the time over the past two seasons). Since April 2013 he has sent 423 horses to compete in NHF races in Ireland and won 159 times for a massive 38% strike-rate and a level stake profit of +20.87pts to SP. But, like any other trainer he has his preferred courses and here they are in current percentage order:

Course Wins Runs S/R P/L
Tipperary 8 12 67% 8.21
Sligo 6 9 67% 2.29
Bellewstown 1 2 50% 0.39
Gowran Park 7 14 50% 2.57
Kilbeggan 10 21 48% 4.47
Naas 8 17 47% 6.86
Galway 6 14 43% 10.13
Navan 10 23 43% 1.66
Downpatrick 5 12 42% 3.82
Limerick 8 19 42% 7.29
Total 69 143 48.25% 39.45

Figures last updated 25th July 2017


The sample shown is not huge but it is not small either and there is absolutely no reason to suggest this strike-rate will diminish appreciably. Note, since April 2013 he has run 143 at these 10 tracks and won 69 times for a massive 48.25%. By careful sifting/filtering there is every chance/opportunity the reader can significantly improve on these figures. Even a check of ground conditions against breeding can add valued percentage points and this guaranteed high strike-rate is conducive to a progressive staking plan. Of all the systems we use it remains one of our best when looking for little to no risk betting and our preferred betting option.

And finally - DID YOU KNOW?

Given all of the above did you know Willie Mullins is 0-22 at Cheltenham with his NHF horses and only 2-33 in the UK generally in the last five seasons. His two winners came at Aintree and Sandown. Punchestown is a different matter, there he registers 22 winners from 65 runners for a big 34% and a level stake profit of +24.31pts and of course this track has not made our Top 10 (17th best on percentage terms).

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