Mullins claims ninth Royal Bond victory as Statuaire wins photo finish


Gavin Cromwell's My Mate Mozzie stumbled on the final hurdle in Sunday's opening Grade 1 at Fairyhouse

Sunday, November 28, 2021
Statuaire 281121

Danny Mullins took Statuaire home in a thrilling finish at Fairyhouse


Willie Mullins claimed Royal Bond victory number nine at Fairyhouse as Statuaire pipped My Mate Mozzie on the line in a thrilling photo finish, writes Josh Graham.
 
No one has won this race more times than Mullins, but the first Grade 1 of the day did not appear to be going his way until Gavin Cromwell’s My Mate Mozzie stumbled on the final hurdle allowing Statuaire to make up two lengths.
 
Mullins’ unbeaten mare blasted home to pick up her third win from three starts, collecting the favourite on the line by the barest of margins in her first outing since June – and the legendary trainer was delighted with nephew Danny Mullins’ perfect ride.
 
After scooping the BARONERACING.COM Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, he said: “A lot of things fell her way really, a lot of the runners got racing too early.
 
“And they all got involved too far out which gave Danny a chance to settle his mare and have one run with her and he timed it to perfection.
 
“Danny was very cool on her and just kept finding gaps when he needed them. It was great for Danny; I’m delighted for him.”

Statuaire had won at Downpatrick and Wexford over the summer but stepped up in class on Sunday to cause a minor shock and claim victory in what was a slow-paced race.
 
Mullins added: “I had her in the handicap, but I said, ‘If you are ever going to win a Grade 1, this is your chance’.
 
“And that’s why I ran it, she could run in the handicap every day of her life. But I felt with the experience she had in France before she came here, the way she jumped.
 
“We hadn’t asked her many questions and she’d won two out of two, she got a break and she got very strong during her break.
 
“She just filled out and got hugely strong and I thought, ‘She looks well, how do we know how much she has improved?”
 
Mullins now has his eyes on Cheltenham after a hat-trick of wins for his six-year-old.
 
He said: “She hadn’t done anything wrong; she’s won three out of three, she can’t help what she beat before, they might not have been great races, but she was still able to win them so she’s improving.
 
“She’ll probably go onto Christmas now with the Grade 1 at Leopardstown and the Mare’s Novice at Cheltenham would be the obvious target.”

They all got involved too far out which gave Danny a chance to settle his mare and have one run with her and he timed it to perfection.

- Willie Mullins

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