The Masterful Mr. Mullins!

Exciting ending to the UK jumps season of 2024

The unthinkable is now almost inevitable, as Willie Mullins looks set to be crowned champion trainer in both the UK and Ireland this season.

The prospect of emulating the legendary Vincent O’Brien has loomed large ever since Mullins once again commanded the Cheltenham Festival, winning both the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup.

Willie Mullins looks set to be crowned champion trainer (Pic – Supplied)

The 17-time Irish champion though, played down the prospect, with one proviso – unless he won the £1 million Grand National.

I Am Maximus was sent off the 7-1 favourite under Paul Townend, one of eight runners for Mullins, and he didn’t disappoint storming home, eight-lengths clear at the line.

Victory with I Am Maximus put Mullins £52,807 clear of Skelton, who is in turn £75,259 ahead of Nicholls in the title race.

Willie Mullins may now have taken the lead, but Dan Skelton forecast on Sunday the race for the UK trainers’ championship would go to Sandown on the 27th of April, the last day of the jumps season.

“We’ll have to go for it now. We needed to have a really good National and we have. It’s game on now, isn’t it. You can expect to see us at Sandown, Ayr and wherever!” said Mullins.

“I’d love to win the championship. Vincent O’Brien has done it in the 1950s and it is something different to do.”

“JP McManus (owner of I Am Maximus) has been telling me for the past couple of years to have a real go, but I always think just mind yourself at home rather than spread yourself too thin and leave yourself wide open to have a bad season at home.”

He took the pre-emptive action last week of putting horses in Saturday’s Coral Scottish Grand National and the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown. Now it’s full steam ahead. The Irish supremo has nominated runners in all eight carded events at Ayr and will surely have do the same for the final meeting at Sandown.

His six-year-old Macdermott is favourite for the Coral Scottish Grand National which has a first prize of £112,540. That would provide an unassailable lead.

A winner at Fairyhouse two weeks ago, Macdermott is one of ten entries for Mullins and would be bidding to give the trainer a maiden success in the 4m handicap chase.

On the final day of the jumps season at Sandown, the Closutton stable have 13 entered in the bet365 Gold Cup led by Irish Grand National seventh Nick Rockett.

A really interesting and exciting ending to the UK jumps season of 2024.

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