Aintree hero David Mullins announces retirement

Grand National-winning rider David Mullins has announced his retirement from the saddle at the age of 24.

Mullins secured Aintree glory when steering Rule The World to victory in 2016 and counts nine Grade Ones wins on his CV.

He claimed his first top-level success aboard Nichols Canyon in the 2015 Morgiana Hurdle and also triumphed on the likes of future dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo and Savills Chase hero Kemboy in 2018.

Nichols Canyon was a first Grade One winner for Mullins in 2015
Nichols Canyon was a first Grade One winner for Mullins in 2015 (PA)

Mullins, who rode primarily for his champion trainer uncle Willie and father Tom, was last in action when steering Blackbow to finish third at Naas on January 13 and bows out with 211 Irish winners to his name

He said: “It just didn’t fit with what I wanted to do any more, but racing is a tough game to get out of, and I’ve been trying for the last year to 18 months.

“Sales are 100 per cent something I’m looking at. I bought Court Maid for 1,800 euros and she’s won eight times now, including a 120,000 euros race last year.”

Mullins and Rule The World on their way to Grand National glory
Mullins and Rule The World on their way to Grand National glory (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mullins pointed to his Grand National victory as an obvious career highlight, but also took great pleasure in the wins of Bellshill and Faugheen for his uncle at the 2018 Punchestown Festival.

He said: “The Grand National was a highlight and it was certainly the biggest day of my career, but it was always nice to ride a winner for your mother as well.

“I suppose Bellshill and Faugheen at the Punchestown Festival in 2018 would stand out for me as well.

David Mullins (centre) kisses Faugheen after their Punchestown win
David Mullins (centre) kisses Faugheen after their Punchestown win (Brian Lawless/PA)

“That was special, to win two of the biggest races (the Punchestown Gold Cup and Champion Stayers Hurdle) for Willie when he was under pressure for the trainers’ title and for two of his biggest owners as well in Sir Graham Wylie and Rich and Susannah Ricci.

“They were two proper horses as well and I guess that should have kept me going as a jockey, but it didn’t.

“It was the easiest decision I’ve made (to retire), once I’d made it.”

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