Home » Willie Mullins eyes British trainers’ title at Sandown finale

Willie Mullins eyes British trainers’ title at Sandown finale

Willie Mullins will look to clinch the British jump trainers’ championship at Sandown on Saturday – and become the first Irishman to do so in 70 years.

The legendary Vincent O’Brien was the only other Ireland-based trainer to achieve the feat, winning for a second time in 1954.

Dan Skelton and 14-time champion Paul Nicholls are the nearest challengers to Mullins but look unlikely to overhaul him.

Harry Cobden will be officially crowned champion jockey after sealing victory over Sean Bowen on Friday.

Mullins has several runners at Sandown’s jump finale meeting which marks the end of the season, including El Fabiolo in the Celebration Chase, where Jonbon is among opponents.

“It’s done but just not dusted yet, but I’d be very proud of everyone here in Closutton if we can achieve this, and our owners too,” Mullins told a Great British Racing news conference.

“Vincent was a legend of legends in racing and to have your name up against him is something you could never dream of, it’s just extraordinary.

“I was lucky enough to have met him once or twice but I never imagined I could be as good as him or anything like that.”

While Irish champion Mullins has a fraction of the British winners secured by Skelton and Nicholls, the title is decided on prize money and he has bagged many of the biggest prizes.

Kitty’s Light, fifth in the Grand National earlier in the month, will bid for a second consecutive win in the Bet365 Gold Cup and provide another emotional triumph for Welsh trainer Christian Williams, whose young daughter Betsy has leukaemia.