Remembering Min's five finest hours as legend retires

The ten-year-old steps away with six Grade 1 wins and an indelible legacy

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Min’s final race has been run and he joins great rival Altior in the ranks of retired legends, writes Tom Harle

The ten-year-old gave Willie Mullins a handsome haul of 12 victories from 24 races, more than €1 million in prize money and countless great memories on the biggest of stages

But having undergone surgery in August, another season was a leap too far

Mullins explained: “He suffered an injury in this year’s Ryanair which we operated on.

“We were hoping to get him back for this season but unfortunately it hasn’t come right for racing but he’s heading to a very good home to make an excellent riding horse for them.

"He gave Susannah and Rich (Ricci) and the team here some wonderful days over the years, including the win at Cheltenham, and was a tremendous horse.

Here are five of the best performances from this great of the modern game.

2018 John Durkan Chase

The much-loved Punchestown Grade 1 race has come to define the shape of Min’s career, and three wins came with different jockeys in contrasting ways.

The first came under the great Ruby Walsh and as even-money favourite, showing an uncommon mastery of the 2m4f distance.

Horse and jockey let rivals do all the running and exploded over the last to seal a first top-level triumph.

2019 Dublin Chase 

The sign of a great horse is how rivals respond and rip up their own tactical plan in deference.

Min and Walsh cruised around Leopardstown until the final two furlongs, with Rachael Blackmore and Ordinary World using all the gas in their tank to pull level at the last.

The Henry De Bromhead horse fell at the final fence, leaving Min to prevail by six lengths and burnish a soaring aura.

2019 John Durkan Chase

Min was back to defend his early-December dominance and faced with a fearsome field, including Presenting Percy, Snow Falcon and Hardline.

Unlike the year before, Paul Townend and Min made virtually all and saw Hardline scream into the last flight with a narrow lead.

Min showed his underrated top-end speed and turned on those afterburners to become the first horse since 1994 to win the race in successive seasons.

2020 Ryanair Chase

It’s easy to speculate what Min could have won had he not shared an era with Altior, finishing second to Nicky Henderson’s star in the 2016 Supreme and 2018 Champion Chase.

What we know is that Min’s Cheltenham day would come in 2020, partnered by Townend, hanging on grimly in a fearsome battle with Saint Calvados.

Allaho won the race for Closutton the following year, building on Min’s legacy at Prestbury Park that would end with a fitting victory.

2020 John Durkan Chase

If you ever need to jog your memory on the 2020 John Durkan, just remember that it was ‘the one with all the fog.'

Min was virtually invisible such was the lack of visibility that day and he dominated a Mullins-heavy field at Punchestown, jumping the last to win in spectacular fashion

He became the first horse to win the race three times - a record that is plain for all to see in the history books.

He gave the team here some wonderful days over the years

- Willie Mullins

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