Ruby Walsh: Why Willie Mullins will be more annoyed than Gordon Elliot despite winning top trainer prize

Ruby was speaking on the latest episode of our From the Horse's Mouth Podcast.


With the Irish National Hunt season now officially over, I’ve been asked if Gordon Elliot will be pissed off at being denied the chance to catch Willie Mullins in the race to be the leading trainer. He’s been close before, but come the end of the Punchestown Festival he could have caught up his rival.

Well, if you look at years gone by he was €500,000 to €600,000 in front and still ended up losing by €100,000 to €200,000.

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I’d say no, Gordon Elliot is not disappointed, and not as disappointed as Willie Mullins either, who would have looked at Punchestown as a big earner in the season.

Paul Townend and all the lads working in Willie’s yard will be feeling the same way too. They’ll be ruing the financial loss a lot more than Gordon Elliot will be. Getting beat €100,000 by Willie Mullins this season is probably the closest Gordon has been.

Gordon Elliott Willie Mullins


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With the season ending early, my successor Paul Townend has taken the top jockey honours.

I think that was going to happen anyway, whether Punchestown was going to be on or not. He was that far in front, he was going to crowned champion anyway.

Willie Mullins is champion trainer again, and it’s a good season for both of them.

Paul Townend Willie Mullins



It’s also been confirmed the Irish Grand National will take place later this year.

Of course it’ll be different, but in the grand scheme of things it’ll still be the Irish Grand National winner of 2020. In years to come people won’t remember this was run in October, it’ll just be that year’s winner.

It’s a huge pot and big prize for the National Hunt fraternity and it’s nice they are trying to save it.

Irish National Hunt season awards

Champion Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Champion Trainer: Willie Mullins
Champion Jockey: Paul Townend
Champion Conditional: Darragh O’Keeffe
Champion Amateur: Patrick Mullins
Champion Lady Amateur Rider: Lisa O’Neill

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What do you think?