Patrick Mullins: victory would see him better the record of 72 winnersPICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)
Amateur's quest for record heads to Thurles
TWICE frustrated by the weather during the week in his quest to ride a record number of winners for an Irish amateur in a calendar year, Patrick Mullins heads for Thurles today for one ride, Goldboy in the bumper, as he seeks the victory that would see him better the 97-year-old record of 72 winners set by Billy Parkinson.
Mullins equalled the record at Navan last Sunday but the cancellation of Downpatrick on Wednesday and Navan yesterday put his bid on hold.
"Goldboy ran well when fourth on his debut at Punchestown at the end of last season and I think he's a better horse now. The ground could be a problem as he would prefer it better, but he has the ability to win a bumper," said Mullins
The jockey's dad, Willie, sends four horses to Thurles with Midnight Game looking the pick of the quartet in the feature 2m Listed hurdle at 1.30pm.
Twice a winner on the Flat in France, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned five-year-old scored twice over hurdles last season before failing to make any impact when stepped up to Grade 2 and Grade 1 level.
However, he delivered a career-best effort on his reappearance at Fairyhouse early this month when beating Staying Article by seven lengths and Mullins, who won the race with So Young a year ago, said: "Midnight Game is a stronger horse this season and his performance at Fairyhouse was encouraging.
"The handicapper has put him up 10lb in the ratings and while today's race isn't a handicap he has plenty of weight and he will need to run close to his new mark.
"The trip will suit and he's won on soft to heavy, so the ground shouldn't be a problem. It looked a good opportunity for him and, if all goes well, we'll look at stepping him back up in class."
The going at Thurles is described as heavy, soft to heavy in places on the hurdle track and heavy on the chase course.