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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Willie Mullins makes festival history with 61st win on magical day for Ireland

Willie Mullins: surpassed Nicky Henderson as the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history
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Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins made history on Thursday when he saddled a record-breaking 61st winner at the Cheltenham Festival on a day dominated by Ireland.

Mullins moved on to 61 – one more than previous record holder Nicky Henderson – after victories for Penhill in the Stayers' Hurdle and Laurina in the mares' novice hurdle, his sixth and seventh winners of the week.

A day-three treble for Gordon Elliott, who has saddled six winners this week, and Davy Russell, the week’s leading jockey on four after victories on Delta Work, Balko Des Flos and The Storyteller, ensured St Patrick’s Thursday belonged firmly to the Irish.

After saddling six winners in the first six races, including a Ryanair Chase stroll for the Henry de Bromhead-trained Balko Des Flos, the Irish moved on to 15 winners for the week, some nine clear of the British.

The only British-trained winner on the third afternoon came when Missed Approach dug deep under Noel McParlan to win the closing Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase for Warren Greatrex.

Top five trainers at the festival

61 Willie Mullins (1995-present)
60 Nicky Henderson (1985-present)
41 Paul Nicholls (1999-present)
40 Fulke Walwyn (1946-86)
34 Martin Pipe (1981-2006)

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Mullins moved on to 61 festival winners – one more than previous holder Nicky Henderson
E.W. Terms
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