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08 Mar 16 15:01
Date Joined: 17 Aug 15
| Topic/replies: 835 | Blogger: scooby91's blog
Not sure where to  post this but thought it was quite interesting.

Meet Mullins' trusted eyes and ears in France


MARCH 9, 2015, might be one of the more remarkable dates in Cheltenham Festival history, as Willie Mullins turned the sport's most fiercely competitive arena into his own personal field of dreams.

As first Douvan and then Un De Sceaux returned to the winner's enclosure, the silks and attendant scarves may have changed from pink to sky blue and orange but the central brains trust remained the same.

There was the gracious tip of the Mullins trilby and the beaming smile of wife Jackie, as well as loyal lieutenant and talent scout Harold Kirk. And there too was the man who had scoured the French countryside to unearth these irresistible talents.

"The first day of Cheltenham last year was unreal," says Pierre Boulard, sipping on a fruit juice in one of French racing's most famous breakfast joints, La Chasse a Courre in Chantilly.

"I sometimes think, ‘how are we going to do that again?' Winning four Grade 1s and having the first three in the Champion Hurdle was perfect."

Boulard also bought the middle part of that Champion Hurdle tricast in Arctic Fire, and would be back in the number-one spot later in the week thanks to Don Poli and Vautour.

He adds: "Willie is a genius and the competition is so high there. There are a lot of very good trainers in England and although it looks easy, it's not."

French horses have become a huge part of the Mullins armoury so it is easy to forget his first festival winning imports, Mikael D'Haguenet and Quevega, were only in 2009.

"I knew Quevega was for sale and it was quite special because I bought her as a two-year-old at the AQPS show in Cercy for her owner Monsieur Biraben. She won three bumpers at three. I was told she was for sale and I mentioned it to Willie, who was very interested because he'd had her brother Monvega in Ireland and thought he was a very good horse but he had training problems. So we made a deal and that's how it started."

And Mullins uses only Boulard in France, who in turn has a client list of precisely one trainer.

"When I started buying horses I was also agent to Stephane Pasquier, he says. "I didn't want to get any other jockey - which probably wasn't great for business - and I concentrated on him and we did very well for four years up until he won the Arc with Rail Link. I find it a problem to work for different people. I couldn't put Willie in competition with other trainers."

Such a policy must have been a big risk in the beginning, especially as Boulard had previously enjoyed success with a number of clients including France's greatest jumps trainer Guillaume Macaire. Yet when Mullins came knocking in the middle of the last decade, he was rekindling a personal and familial relationship from 20 years earlier.

He explains: "I was working in Maisons-Laffitte at the yard of Jacques-Hubert Barbe - the father of agent Hubert Barbe - and Dawn Run came over with her trainer Paddy Mullins. Nobody else spoke English so I helped him. He said if I wanted to come and gain experience in Ireland to go to him.

"I went the next year, the year Dawn Run won the Gold Cup. Willie was there, in fact all four brothers were working for their father."

The great mare won the Grand Course de Haies in 1984, only to be killed in the same race two years later.

Boulard credits Paddy Mullins' spirit of adventure as the spark that has made his son a regular visitor to the Paris track as well as chasing glory as far afield as Japan and Australia. And he recalls a prophetic conversation from his time in Kilkenny that may explain the pipeline of success flowing between Chantilly and Closutton.

"I remember I was in the car with Paddy, going to the races. He said he could see that one day French-bred horses would be very good over the jumps. I wasn't sure but he was right."

What is surprising when you examine the records in France of many of Boulard's most successful acquisitions is how few wins there are next to some of the names.

"We don't want a store because we don't know about the quality. But we don't want one who is too exposed. They just need to have shown me something special.

"When Djakadam ran at Compiegne I went ‘wow'! He could have won if the jockey hadn't been so easy on him."

As Boulard warms to his theme the names begin to tumble out of him. "Douvan won second time in a very good way," he says. "Un De Sceaux won twice on the Flat in a nice, easy way. Vautour had two runs and did something even though he wasn't fully fit, Vroum Vroum Mag the same."

Perhaps the most compelling example among the festival first-timers will be the horse who bids to fire the starting flare in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, following on from Champagne Fever, Vautour and Douvan.

Min's two runs at Auteuil for Yannick Fouin yielded a third and a fourth, neither effort screaming future star. "Min is a son of Walk In The Park and we had so much success with Douvan, says Boulard.

"Harold really believed in Walk In The Park when we bought Douvan and said go for it. I liked Min physically and the performances were good enough because Auteuil is the biggest test of stamina in France. It was important I liked him physically and then I add in the pedigree and his race. It was the three together."

Rumours of flying work at home ensured Min had been favourite for the Supreme since last August, long before he made his debut for Mullins.

Surely there must be less expectation with Min than there will be 72 hours later, when the Boulard finds Vautour, Djakadam and Don Poli present Mullins with his best chance of a first win in the Timico Gold Cup?

"Because I'm not English I maybe don't realise the importance of the Gold Cup," says Boulard. "Of course I know it's the race, but for me the other Grade 1s are very important. It was great with Vautour [two years ago] and then there was a lot of pressure with Douvan because he was the ante-post favourite. I don't see the difference between those Grade 1s and the Gold Cup. On Tuesday, when Min has been favourite for a long time, I'll be more anxious."

If the bookies have it right then Boulard will have already followed in a hatful of winners by the time the Gold Cup is run. Perhaps then he will let the excitement win out over the anticipation, but you half suspect he will already be thinking about how to maintain the ‘new normal' chez Mullins for 2017 and beyond.
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Report scooby91 March 8, 2016 3:08 PM GMT
The 3 pierre purchased for next year.
RIVEN LIGHT 4yo son of ravens pass.
SENEWALK son of walk in the park
CAP D'AUBOIS who has won already in france
Report Desmond Orchard March 8, 2016 4:28 PM GMT
V Interesting Scooby.
Another Walk in the Park, will be a warm order for the Supreme 12 months out if Min does the biz next week.
I have to say a Ravens Pass x Trempolino Mare doesn't scream future NH star to me, but then I'm no expert.
Report The RealDeal March 8, 2016 10:15 PM GMT
Good read Scoob, thanks for posting.
Report scooby91 March 19, 2016 6:57 PM GMT
2 more for willie.
Harold kirk purchased MONBEG CHITCHAT a winner of his ptp on his last start for £200,000 and THREE SWALLOWSNICK  who also won HER ptp for £115,000
Report scooby91 March 25, 2016 11:43 AM GMT
MELON  was bought from france on 24/10/15.  Has ran 4 times on the flat.
Report Paterson92 March 26, 2016 8:59 AM GMT
You getting this info from Twitter scoob? Anyone in particular I should be following?
Report scooby91 March 27, 2016 1:30 PM BST

I use the france website
It tells you they've been exported to ireland and the buyer (pb bloodstock) is pierre boullard for mullins.
some times it also gives you the new owner in the top corner.
Report Howdi March 27, 2016 6:38 PM BST
^^ one of the better posts on here, great stuff
Report scooby91 April 4, 2016 8:15 PM BST
Timi roli
Won a minor flat race at royan on his only start.
Bought privately and been exported to ireland.
Report scooby91 April 12, 2016 8:20 AM BST
Koshori bought from france, highly touted.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan April 12, 2016 4:39 PM BST
Report scooby91 April 12, 2016 5:07 PM BST
Thanks cmiyc, I mis typed before.
Son of walk in the park who won his latest start at cagnes sur mer under hands and heels.
Exported to ireland 10/2/2016
And owned by Ms s ricci
Report rl91 April 12, 2016 11:16 PM BST
Koshari is entered at Ayr on Friday
Report Catch Me ifyoucan April 12, 2016 11:26 PM BST
Report Catch Me ifyoucan April 12, 2016 11:40 PM BST
CAP D'AUBOIS who has won already in France IS ENTERED in Punchestown on Sat 30th along with Koshari in the AES Champion 4YO H'dle (Grade 1) of €100,000.00 4-y-o

...A race featuring A P O'Brien's Cheltenham winner Ivanovich Gorbatov & Fairyhouse winner Slowmotion, Mullins' Aintree winner Apple's Jade and his other French imports Voix du Reve (14/1 Ruby fell off in Fred Winter for Andrea Wylie & Graham Wylie & Auteuil winner Ria D'etel.
Report scooby91 April 14, 2016 8:42 PM BST
JUDGEMENT DAY 4yo (martaline) Bought for willie by harold kirk for £145,000. He won his ptp beating graystown easily by 3 lengths.
Another to note may be SAMCRO 4yo (Germany) sold to gordon elliott on the recommendation of colin bowe for £335,000 he won his ptp cosily by 1 length from elegant escape.
Report Stormez2000 April 15, 2016 6:04 PM BST
Is there any reason why Koshari hasn't been priced up yet for next year's Supreme?
Report Paterson92 April 15, 2016 8:12 PM BST
Because Senewalk wins doing handstands.
Report scooby91 April 16, 2016 9:18 AM BST

Apr 15, 2016 -- 6:04PM, Stormez2000 wrote:

Is there any reason why Koshari hasn't been priced up yet for next year's Supreme?

He won't be eligible as has already won.  Likely have a run this season to get a mark for  something like the county next season.

Report Jb23 April 16, 2016 9:47 AM BST

Apr 16, 2016 -- 9:18AM, scooby91 wrote:

Apr 15, 2016 --  6:04PM, Stormez2000 wrote:Is there any reason why Koshari hasn't been priced up yet for next year's Supreme?He won't be eligible as has already won.  Likely have a run this season to get a mark for  something like the county next season.

Ahh the April plot job Wink

Report Catch Me ifyoucan April 28, 2016 5:07 PM BST
Catch Me ifyoucan  • April 12, 2016 11:40 PM BST 
CAP D'AUBOIS 33/1 who has won already in France IS ENTERED in Punchestown on Sat 30th
along with Willie's other tow Apple's Jade 8/11 & Let's Dance 18/1.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan April 28, 2016 5:11 PM BST
Sorry not declared
Report rl91 April 28, 2016 8:22 PM BST
Backed Koshari at 25/1 a couple of weeks ago

Looking through tomorrow's card see it priced up at 3/1, while I'm busy congratulating myself I then notice it's a different race

Set to run tomorrow against Bello Conti over 2m
Report Paterson92 April 30, 2016 9:10 PM BST
Goffs Punchestown Sale topper Getabird sold by @colinboweracing to H Kirk & WP Mullins for €200,000 #Punchestown
Report Paterson92 April 30, 2016 9:13 PM BST
Ran out on PTP debut in March before winning PTP at 2nd attempt on 23rd April ^
Report Paterson92 April 30, 2016 9:35 PM BST
Vent D'Automne by the sire of Un De Sceaux sells to Harold Kirk & Willie Mullins for €100,000 #Goffs #Punchestown ... came 2nd in a PTP on 24th April.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan May 26, 2016 3:35 PM BST
Mullins/Kirk paid £200k at Tatts Cheltenham for 4yo filly Redhotfillypeppers, a winner at Necarne PTP.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan August 22, 2016 9:28 PM BST
Report rl91 September 28, 2016 1:48 AM BST
Had Koshari down as a handicap horse with the win at the end of the season, but see it's listed in all 3 main novices races for Cheltenham

Anybody have any idea?

Keenly awaiting Admiral Chiefs first run anyway
Report delsie777 September 28, 2016 2:15 PM BST
It's not a novice
Report Jb23 September 28, 2016 2:58 PM BST
Looks like Mullins' may need a few more purchases to fill a few box's Laugh
Report Catch Me ifyoucan October 30, 2016 10:39 PM GMT
scooby91  • March 19, 2016 6:57 PM GMT 
2 more for willie.
Harold kirk purchased MONBEG CHITCHAT a winner of his ptp on his last start for £200,000 and THREE SWALLOWSNICK who also won HER ptp for £115,000

Three Swallowsnick arrived at Wexford with a lofty reputation and she enhanced it with an easy victory in the mares' bumper. The five-year-old was appearing on a racecourse for the first time after comfortably winning two point-to-points in December and February. Jamie Codd sent the 4/6 favourite on from front-running Bridge Native with under three furlongs to go. He didn't have to get serious with her as she galloped on towards the line. Sweet Shirleen (6/1) tried to follow her but could never get on terms and went down by three lengths. Jamie Codd said: "She is a very smart filly. She won two point-to-points for a local lad called Ivan Walker. Gigginstown got her then at the sales and Gordon just has her the last few months. She is a real tough, honest, little filly and she will win plenty of races." This win gave Elliott and Gigginstown a double at Wexford (Bull Ride took race three) and an across-the-card treble courtesy of Potters Point in Galway. TY SCOOBY91 Devil
Report Catch Me ifyoucan November 20, 2016 12:19 AM GMT
Paterson92  • April 15, 2016 8:12 PM BST
Because Senewalk wins doing handstands.

A walk in the betting too...what did he cost Mrs Ricci ?
Report Catch Me ifyoucan November 30, 2016 1:44 PM GMT
Riven Light runs at 1.20 THURLES tomorrow Devil
Report unclepuncle December 4, 2016 6:46 PM GMT
30 Apr 16 21:10

Goffs Punchestown Sale topper Getabird sold by @colinboweracing to H Kirk & WP Mullins for €200,000 #Punchestown

Looks good value now.Grin
Report Hubert December 14, 2016 12:43 PM GMT
Any update on melon.. see the last price match here was 20's..
Report Catch Me ifyoucan June 29, 2017 4:05 PM BST
Montalbano led home a 1-2 for the Mullins yard in a Novice Hurdle at Punchestown back in April. Ruby Walsh looked like he was going to take this for winning owners Susannah and Rich Ricci when going to the front on Riven Light before the last.

However Montalbano had more to give on the run-in and he eventually scored by a neck. Mullins said: "He's a horse that promised a lot early on, and he needs good ground. That's the key to him.

"I think Riven Light idled a bit in front but we can rectify that. At least he's showing a bit more form than he had previously, and he'll probably go on the Flat. The two of them may go on the Flat.

Smullen rides/wins on Friday 30th 7.50pm in €50,000 1m.4f. Flat H/cap at the Curragh Devil
Report Catch Me ifyoucan June 29, 2017 4:11 PM BST
10373 views noted
Report Catch Me ifyoucan July 24, 2017 10:42 PM BST
Cap D'Aubois went in at odds of 4/7 under Ruby Walsh in the Great National Ballykisteen Golf Hotel Hurdle at Tipperary on Sunday.
Walsh donned the silks of Susannah Ricci on the Willie Mullins-trained French-bred, and off a 182 day break the five-year-old dealt with joint second favourite Thanks For Tea by four lengths in the three miler. "He has been a hard horse to place - he has a rating of 140 and the conditions suited well," said Walsh.
"Some of the races he has been eliminated from have been for winning in France in 2015 as the race was worth E13,000 which eliminated him from all the E10,000 races here, so finding a race for him hasn't been easy.
"Three miles seemed to suit him but he's probably not a 140 horse. But he's gone and won - it's great, but he might find life difficult."
Report bluebirdfan October 1, 2017 4:59 PM BST
Annamix the one for this year???
Report Catch Me ifyoucan October 19, 2017 8:25 PM BST
Report Catch Me ifyoucan October 19, 2017 8:27 PM BST
Annamix: A French import, he finished second on his debut in a hurdle race at Vichy in September 2016. Trainer Says: He’s a nice horse that will go novice hurdling. I’m hoping he’ll be fully effective at around two miles. I don’t think he’ll be out in the next few weeks, but I’d be hopeful that he will run before Christmas.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan October 19, 2017 8:29 PM BST
Salsaretta A French import, she was touched off in a Listed hurdle at Auteuil in September 2016. Trainer Says: She’s a nice novice hurdling prospect that will probably start off at two miles.
Report scooby91 October 21, 2017 10:36 PM BST
1st time iv been able to log in to the forum since I last posted on this thread.
Report bluebirdfan November 25, 2017 7:42 AM GMT
Annamix is entered on Thursday
Report Catch Me ifyoucan November 27, 2017 8:53 PM GMT
Report Catch Me ifyoucan November 27, 2017 8:55 PM GMT
Willie had loads of novice hurdlers this year...
Report Catch Me ifyoucan November 30, 2017 8:32 PM GMT
Pierre Boulard purchased & French import REAL STEEL is I guess La Vraie Affaire! WPM a 5-in-a-row in the Cahir 4-y-o Maiden Hurdle today.
Mullins wasn’t giving too much away when he had him down as a ‘nice sort’ in his stable tour – R.S. was beaten a nose by Izzo (on very soft ground at Fontainebleau in March) and he has won three times since, including a Grade 3 at Auteuil.
Note WPM's other previous winners weren't too bad either - Riven Light 2/7Fav (Caulfield Cup 7th), Petit Mouchoir 1/5Fav (Champ Hdl 3rd and just won his beginners Chase in P/town on 18th Oct), Max Dynamite 5/4Fav (Melb Cup 3rd) & Lucky Bridle 1/1Fav. Devil
Report Catch Me ifyoucan November 30, 2017 10:07 PM GMT
Another WPM French import Laurina gets us off to a winning start at 12.45 in Lmk tomorrow... a repeat of Kemboy's win last year for connections (worked in Thurles)
Report Catch Me ifyoucan January 11, 2018 7:22 PM GMT
Pietralunga got her hurdling career off to a successful start but only just as the French import snatched victory right on the line in the Kilsheelan Mares Maiden Hurdle at Clonmel. Paul Townend is currently serving a two days suspension for careless riding at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting, and it was David Mullins who took the mount for his uncle Willie.
Visibility was very poor for much of this two-mile race due to heavy fog, and the Mullins charge didn’t help her chance with a slight mistake at the penultimate flight which gave her a bit to do. Cool Saint held a narrow advantage over Moonlight Escape when meeting the last wrong, and Pietralunga took advantage when coming home really strongly on the run-in. The 10/11 favourite denied Moonlight Escape by a short-head, with Cool Saint a length and a quarter away in third. David Mullins said, "It would have been my fault if we didn't get there because it turned into a sprint but she showed good guts to stay finding coming up the hill. "Her jumping was very good and she was safe and clever. I felt I would have been a comfortable winner if it was a true run race."
Report Catch Me ifyoucan April 1, 2018 3:21 PM BST
Catch Me ifyoucan on 30 Nov 17 22:07
Another WPM French import LAURINA gets us off to a winning start at 12.45 in Lmk tomorrow.

Good thread
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