Willie Mullins wins Japan’s Grand Jump
15 April 2013
Willie Mullins achieved something no European trainer has achieved when he saddled BLACKSTAIRMOUNTAIN (IRE) to win the Grade 1 Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan on Saturday. Ridden by Ruby Walsh the 8yo improved considerably from his prep race in Japan three weeks previously and he jumped the obstacles quickly and cleanly and had too much class for the local runners, claiming the massive half million prize by half a length. Mullins has been keen to target the race for several years now but has had to be patient in order to find the right candidate, commenting;
"I thought it would suit what we call a ‘summer horse’ and it took me a few years to find a horse good enough. I had my doubts after BLACKSTAIRMOUNTAIN'S (IRE) performance in the Pegasus but Ruby was more positive and Emmet Mullins and Diarmuid Keeling have done a tremendous job in conditioning the gelding for this race. I am thrilled and if the horse's condition is fit to come again next time, I would be quite eager to do so."
To make victory even sweeter for the team, the Rich Ricci owned gelding was bred by the trainer’s wife Jackie Mullins and is a half-brother to the stables Grade 2 placed winner ALLURE OF ALLUSION (IRE). Saturday’s famous victory was the third Grade 1 win for BLACKSTAIRMOUNTAIN (IRE) following previous wins at the highest level in Ireland both over hurdles and fences. The win also caps an incredible season for Willie Mullins.