Maureen Mullins honoured in National Hunt Chase

This year’s National Hunt Chase will be run in honour of the late Maureen Mullins on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Mullins, who died aged 94 on February 14, was the matriarch of one of the most successful and well-known families in the sport.

A winning rider, owner and breeder in her own right, she was the wife of Paddy, the trainer of the great Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup-winning mare Dawn Run.

The couple had five children, among them trainers Tom, Tony and Willie – the latter now Ireland’s leading National Hunt handler and a huge presence at the Cheltenham Festival.

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Her grandsons Danny, Emmet and Patrick have all ridden winners at the Festival, with Patrick taking first place in the National Hunt Chase four times for his father Willie, making him the contest’s leading jockey.

The Jockey Club’s Ian Renton said: “The National Hunt Chase has a long tradition of commemorating some of Jump racing’s most famous names and we are delighted that the Mullins family has agreed to have the historic contest run in honour of Maureen Mullins in 2024.

“A true stalwart of Jump racing, Maureen Mullins was a regular visitor to the Festival and her sad passing last month leaves a big void. We hope that putting her name to the National Hunt Chase celebrates her tremendous legacy in the appropriate way.”

Willie Mullins said: “Our family are delighted and honoured to have a race named after our mother Maureen, who had a great affinity for Cheltenham and enjoyed every moment there.”

Tony Mullins added: “Undoubtedly the correct race for a great stayer.”

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