Danny Mullins


A few weeks ago on Tuesday 28th November at Tramore Racecourse, Danny Mullins reached a significant milestone as he rode his 500th winner on Irish soil when partnering the Gavin Cromwell trained Leish Oscar’s Son to victory in The Doneraile Walk Beginners Steeplechase.

It was a career that began 15 year ago in 2008 following a highly successful stint on the pony circuit where he rode 126 winners.

Initially starting out as a Flat Jockey before concentrating on a a career as a National Hunt rider, the Gowran native made an instant impact.

As a 16-year-old almost 16 years ago, his first win was aboard The Jim Bolger trained My Girl Sophie in a flat race in Leopardstown where he defeated a horse named Be Smart ridden by the legendary Mick Kinane. It was a memorable way to get his first winner.

It wasn’t the first time that a Gowran jockey had defeated Mick Kinane, as Shane Kelly was on board the Aidan O’Brien trained Kiladante to win a Fillies Maiden in Navan in May 1994.

Danny’s career took off in a flash as following his maiden win on My Girl Sophie, he had an evening to remember on the Friday of The Galway Festival in 2008. On that Friday Evening, Danny rode a treble including victory in The Featured Guinness Handicap on the Paul Cashman trained 20/1 shot Glitter Baby, while further wins were added courtesy of Crystal Island trained by his Uncle Tom Mullins along with Metal Madness for English Trainer Mick Quinlan.

Twelve months later in 2009, Danny was back in the winners enclosure in Ballybrit as he teamed up with his Dad Tony Mullins for a most memorable triumph, when Rock n Roll Kid in the colours of Barry Connell won the €140,000 Tote Galway Mile Handicap.

Danny would go on to become retained rider for Barry Connell, and he would enjoy a first Grade 1 win aboard Mount Benbulben at The Punchestown Festival in 2013, while he also enjoyed double Grade 1 Novice Hurdle success while riding The Tullow Tank.

Another big race triumph early in his career came in 2012 when riding the Eric McNamara trained Faltering Fullback to win The Kerry National at The Listowel Festival.

However, his career wasn’t all plain sailing and in early 2015 his partnership with Barry Connell came to an end, and he decided to turn freelance.

Ironically at The Cheltenham Festival in 2015, Danny was aboard the Willie Mullins trained Milseain in The Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle who lost out in a pulsating finish to The Barry Connell owned Martello Tower trained by his Mum Mags Mullins.

However, The Gowran man bounced back and having plenty of mounts for his Uncle Willie, he would become an important part of the Champion Trainers squad.

He has enjoyed his best run over the past few years with a host of big race triumphs.

Most memorable was winning on Total Recall in The Thyestes Chase in January 2020, and to win Gowran Park’s most prestigious race on home territory was most special as he grew up very close to the racecourse.

That Thyestes win proved hugely significant and it gave him great confidence as he began to win Grade 1s more regularly. He was in the saddle as Multi Grade 1 winner Kemboy won The Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in 2021, while at The Cheltenham Festival that same year he finally got his first Festival winner when Flooring Porter made all to win The Stayers Hurdle before following up with a repeat victory on the same horse on St. Patricks Day 12 months later.

Another of his most memorable days was on St. Stephens Day 2021, when Tornado Flyer won The King George for Willie Mullins who had won the race 20 years previously in 2001 with the ultra consistent Florida Pearl.

At that Tramore meeting a few weeks ago, after partnering Leish Oscar’s Son to his milestone 500th win, Danny doubled up half an hour later when Kings Halo won The Ladies Cove Handicap Steeplechase, while two days later he steered home Classic Getaway to win The feature race in Thurles as part of a 5-timer for Willie Mullins with Paul Townend riding a 4-timer.

Classic Getaway is bred by fellow Gowran man Daniel Fogarty, and is among the original 26 entries for The Savills Chase at The Leopardstown Christmas Festival on Thursday December 28th.

In his 15 years in the saddle, Danny has been a consistent solid performer averaging just under 35 winners a year and been an important part of The Willie Mullins brigade, he has plenty to look forward to all going well in the months and years ahead.

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