Tag Archive for: Stattler

Mullins leaves it late on day one but off the mark with Stattler

Willie Mullins got off the mark for the Cheltenham 2022 Festival when Stattler ran out a clear-cut winner of the Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase.

It was quick compensation after hot favourite Gaelic Warrior had been agonisingly beaten a short head in the penultimate race of the day, the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

Mullins – the winning-most trainer at the showpiece fixture – had also seen the well-fancied Dysart Dynamo fall in the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle plus defeats for Appreciate It and Stormy Ireland.

Ukrainian colours on Stattler prior to the start
Ukrainian colours on Stattler prior to the start (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mullins’ amateur rider son Patrick bided his time on the seven-year-old, as Run Wild Fred set the pace in this three-and-three-quarter-mile test – in which all the runners sported saddle cloths in the colours of Ukrainian flag.

The jockey made his move from three out and Stattler (2-1) eased into he lead before pulling clear to score by eight lengths from the Gordon Elliott-trained 15-8 favourite. The first two were 22 lengths clear of Vanillier in third.

Mullins senior said: “This English dominance has been going on all day! I thought Patrick was very cool on him, certainly my nerves were in bits going round the whole time. Patrick got him into a rhythm, got him settled, got him jumping and produced him at the right time.

“I thought coming round the last bend, when he couldn’t put it to bed, I thought he might just be in trouble, but he got him round the last bend and just pinged him at the second-last.

“He knew he had his measure then. I think he only made one mistake, or put in one short one during the race – Patrick just sat there and got the horse to do the work.

“I think he’s a good jumper and that’s why Patrick nominated him early in the season for this race. He was thinking of himself the whole time, which is the right thing to do, it worked out! He probably has enough class win over two and a half miles or three miles.”

On only six runners going to post, he added: “I suppose Cheltenham will have to look into that, perhaps the good horses are scaring away the other horses. There were very few runners today altogether so that will have to be looked at, I think.”

Stattler digs deep to land Grade Three honours at Naas

Stattler took his unbeaten record over fences to two with a game staying performance in the Naas Racecourse Business Club Novice Chase at the County Kildare track.

Willie Mullins’ seven-year-old outpointed Farouk D’Alene after a prolonged tussle to land the Grade Three contest by one and a quarter lengths in the hands of Paul Townend.

Stattler’s stablemate En Beton made the running but he gave way after jumping the third-last fence. That left Stattler and Farouk D’Alene to fight out the finish, with the 11-10 favourite getting the better of the argument as his stamina kicked in at the business end of the three-mile-one-furlong test.

The leading pair pulled 17 lengths clear of Vanillier in third place.

Mullins said: “I was hoping he’d jump better. He was a bit novicey but I suppose it was a big step up in class from his first win (over fences) and it told there.

“He’ll learn a lot and with the way he jumped, he needed the three miles and will probably have no trouble going further.

“It was a fight the whole way up the straight and he only asserted in the last 100 yards but I’m happy he did that.

“I’d imagine that will probably put him into the National Hunt Chase in Cheltenham. A longer trip going a bit steadier will suit him.”

Stattler was cut to 3-1 from 9-2 for the National Hunt Chase with Betfair and Paddy Power, edging ahead of Run Wild Fred who was a non runner at Naas.

The Nice Guy (6-5 favourite) gave Mullins and Townend a double when making a winning debut over jumps in the INH Stallion owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.

The Nice Guy and jockey Paul Townend after completing a double for Willie Mullins at Naas
The Nice Guy and jockey Paul Townend after completing a double for Willie Mullins at Naas (Alan Magee/PA)

Successful in both his bumpers, the seven-year-old looked good when taking the 22-runner contest by eight lengths from The Short Go. The winner’s stable companion Ramillies was four lengths away in third but would have been closer had he not made a mistake at the final flight.

“He jumped well and stayed well and Paul said he’d be happier to go further. He jumps and gallops,” said Mullins of the winner.

“I’d imagine we’ll be looking at the Albert Bartlett but we’ll see what connections want to do.

“Ramillies ran a terrific race and I think he probably needed that run. He’s a big, round horse and I couldn’t have done any more with him at home. That should bring him on hugely.”

The Nice Guy was cut to 16-1 from 25-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham with Paddy Power.

Seabank Bistro made it a treble for Mullins
Seabank Bistro made it a treble for Mullins (PA)

Seabank Bistro completed a treble for the Closutton handler when making a winning debut in the BetVictor Proud To Support To Support Irish Racing (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.

Mullins said: “I think Patrick said that’s officially my first winner as a breeder.

“He’s a big, green horse and he’s green at home. I was very impressed with that performance and he can go wherever he wants after that.

“I’d imagine he’ll get a ticket for March in Cheltenham.

“He’s a lovely, big horse that will jump fences and is related to Killultagh Vic.”