Mullins and Walsh land awards

  • Last Updated: March 14 2014, 20:35 GMT

Willie Mullins clinched the leading trainer award at the Cheltenham Festival, sponsored by the Irish Independent, when Don Poli gave him a fourth winner at the meeting in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

Don Poli sealed the trainers' award for Willie Mullins
Don Poli sealed the trainers' award for Willie Mullins

Mullins began the fourth and final day level with Jonjo O'Neill and David Pipe on the three-winner mark, posting the one success as his rivals drew blanks.

Mullins reflected that Quevega's record sixth success in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle on Tuesday was his high point.

He said: "Quevega was very special, to win the mares' race for the sixth time is a magnificent achievement. Obviously the two novices (Vautour and Faugheen) were hugely impressive but she was the high point.

"Losing Ruby (Walsh) with a broken arm, then losing Paul Townend and getting nudged out of the Gold Cup were all low points.

"It's been a dramatic day going through three sets of jockeys, but I was delighted to see Mikey Fogarty gain his first winner since turning professional on Don Poli."

Ruby Walsh nosed the Boodles-sponsored award for leading jockey on the basis of countback after starting the day level on three winners with Barry Geraghty and Tom Scudamore

Walsh's activities on the final day were cut short when he broke an arm in a fall from Abbyssial in the Triumph Hurdle but neither of his rivals did enough to surpass his placed score of three seconds.

Ian Renton, Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses South West, was delighted with the way the meeting had gone, saying: "It has been a fantastic Festival with some heartwarming results and over 232,000 racegoers enjoying four terrific days of action.

"I am particularly pleased that the hospitality sales have been so strong and significantly ahead of the 2013 levels.

"The next chapter of Cheltenham Racecourse starts in just 10 days time, with the site handed over to the contractors Kier for the build of our new £45-million grandstand."

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