'Patrick has huge commitment', says dad Willie as he hails big win
Trainer Willie Mullins emerged victorious in the Grade A Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap feature race yesterday on a great day for the racing legend.
It was a family affair for the Carlow man as his son Patrick was the winning jockey while wife Jackie was also in the parade ring for the celebrations and described the race as "extraordinary".
Willie told of how proud he was of his son and noted his dedication to the sport. "Patrick has huge commitment to do what he is doing," he said. "Every morning he wakes up, he's probably [working] 11 to seven, or 11 to eight.
"He has such commitment. I wouldn't live on what he lives on a day."
The trainer said Ruby Walsh and AP McCoy were among the stars younger jockeys can look up to, and believes they have had a hugely positive impact on the sport.
"Nowadays, they have such role models as Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh," Willie said.
"Tony and Ruby are two of the guys all the younger guys look up to now."
It was a good day for Mullins, who also came out on top in the first race, the €17,000 Guinness Beginners' Steeplechase, with Minella Beau and Walsh, and the €25,000 Guinness Novice Hurdle, with Calie Du Mesnil and Willie's nephew David.
There was a torrential downpour by the time the Mullins family celebrated their win, but attendees were determined not to let it put a dampener on their day.
Chanelle McCoy was on hand to judge the Best Dressed Lady competition and admitted she was glad AP was not out in the harsh weather.
"It is tough for the jockeys, but it's great that AP is retired in one piece so we have no health and safety issues at home any more," she said.