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MULLINS' LATE SHOW WINS HIM THE PRIZE.

WILLIE MULLINS effected a smash-and-grab double minutes before Cheltenham's final whistle to land the fixture's trainer award for the eighth time.

Mullins (right) trailed Henry de Bromhead 6-4 after 26 of the 28 contests.

But Colreevy's win under Paul Townend in the inaugural Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase, followed by the success of the Sean O'Keeffe-ridden Galopin Des Champs in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, captured the prize for Ireland's champion trainer.

He edged the verdict on placed horses. "We've just got a goal in extra time to clinch the championship!" laughed Mullins, the most successful trainer in Festival history with 78 winners.

Victories for Belfast Banter in the County Hurdle and Vanillier in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle contributed to a 23-5 Prestbury Cup demolition job for Ireland. A Gold Cup day 'greenwash' was avoided only when Porlock Bay, trained in Somerset by former champion amateur jockey Will Biddick, short-headed Mullins' 2-1 favourite Billaway in the St James's Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 20, 2021
Words:169
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