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Rugby stars embark on racehorse ownership with Mullins

Patrick Mullins: The champion amateur is involved in the new star-studded syndicate that owns The Crafty Butcher
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Rugby players Ian Madigan and Dominic Ryan who have both represented Ireland, have embarked on racehorse ownership for the first time, and are set to have their colours carried by Ruby Walsh aboard the Willie Mullins-trained The Crafty Butcher at Navan today.

Champion amateur Patrick Mullins is also in the syndicate.

Ahead of this afternoon's outing in the 2m6f handicap hurdle (2.50), Madigan, who played fly-half for Leinster before joining Bordeaux Begles, said: "We have always talked about getting involved with a horse together.

"I always loved going racing with my granddad and I have followed the form ever since.

"I really enjoy the day out at the races and hopefully we can get a few days away with The Crafty Butcher."

Ryan, who plys his trade as a flanker for Leinster, revealed the long-term target for the nine-year-old gelding: "Our friend Paul Byrne of the Racing Post bought the horse with the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown in mind.

"Leopardstown is our local track and we go there every year. To have a runner would be very exciting."

I always loved going racing with my granddad and I have followed the form ever since
E.W. Terms