*Wore down Whisper to win the valuable Ladbrokes Trophy
by a neck at Newbury in December. Many Clouds
is the only horse to have won both the Ladbrokes Trophy and Randox Health Grand National.
The Slaneyville Syndicate is made up of eight siblings - seven brothers and one sister - from Tullow in Co Carlow. There was originally nine members but one of the siblings, Catherine, passed away recently. The syndicate is headed up by Laurence Byrne, owner of 2004 & 2005 Champion Hurdle hero Hardy Eustace. Schindlers Hunt, trained like Hardy Eustace by the late Dessie Hughes, was the syndicate's first runner in 2005. He won two G1 novice chases during the 2006/07 campaign and finished third in the 2009 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The current Slaneyville Syndicate horses - Total Recall, Acapella Bourgeois and Dolciano Dici - moved to Willie Mullins this season following the retirement of Sandra Hughes.
September 15, 1956 Background:
A six-time champion amateur rider in Ireland, his successes in the saddle included the 1983 Fox Hunters' Chase at Aintree on Atha Cliath (among the also-rans were Robert Waley-Cohen, chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse, and former Aintree Racecourse chairman Lord Daresbury). As a jockey in the Randox Health Grand National, his rides included The Ladys Master, who ran out in 1983, and Hazy Dawn, who fell at the sixth the following year. He partnered three winners at the Cheltenham Festival. He hails from one of Ireland's most famous racing families, being a son of the late Paddy Mullins, the outstanding all-round trainer whose most dazzling star was Dawn Run, winner of the 1984 Champion Hurdle and 1986 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Training Achievements:
Assisted his father and Jim Bolger before taking out a training licence in 1988. He has been Ireland's champion Jump trainer 11 times. He has won most of the major prizes in Britain and Ireland, and several in France as well. He became in 2018 the winning-most trainer ever at the Cheltenham Festival, with 61 successes to his credit, including Champion Hurdles with Annie Power, Faugheen and Hurricane Fly, and an extraordinary nine in the Champion Bumper, starting with Wither Or Which (which he also rode) in 1996. He has been leading trainer at The Festival for five of the last eight years (including a record eight winners in 2015) and enjoyed seven successes at this year's meeting. Mullins' star performer in the early part of the century was Florida Pearl, who was placed in two Cheltenham Gold Cups, won the 1998 RSA Chase, the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 Irish Gold Cups in Ireland as well as the 2001 King George VI Chase and the 2002 Betway Bowl at Aintree. The brilliant Hurricane Fly won the Unibet Champion Hurdle in 2011 and 2013 and Mullins' other Cheltenham Festival winners include the amazing Quevega who created history by becoming the only horse to win the same race in six consecutive years (the OLBG Mares' Hurdle). Some of Mullins' current stable stars include 2018 Racing Post Arkle Chase winner Footpad, Un De Sceaux, 2018 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle victor Penhill, Melon, Min, Douvan and Laurina. Mullins has around 180 horses at his Closutton yard near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow. He is being challenged this season by Gordon Elliott for the Irish Jump trainers' title, having defeated Elliott in last year's championship by less than €200,000 on the final day of the season. His first Grand National runner as a trainer, Micko's Dream, fell at the first in 2000. Mullins, a former chairman of the Irish Trainers' Federation, also suffered disappointment in 2004 when Hedgehunter departed at the final fence in the Randox Health Grand National when looking assured of a place. The following year Hedgehunter won the Grand National, coming home 14 lengths clear of Royal Auclair, and finished second in 2006.