Willie Mullins secures 100th Cheltenham win as Jasmin de Vaux takes the Weatherbys Champion Bumper

CHELTENHAM, England (AP) — Top Irish trainer Willie Mullins secured a milestone 100th Cheltenham Festival win on Wednesday when Jasmin de Vaux raced to victory in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

Mullins is the most successful trainer in the history of the prestigious jumps meeting and reached his landmark figure with three wins on the day after earlier victories for Ballyburn and Fact To File.

“I thought my lifetime achievement was when I had a winner here in Cheltenham in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle back in 1995 and who ever dreamt any trainer, never mind me, could do it,” he said.

To make the moment even more special, Mullins’ son, Patrick, rode Jasmin de Vaux to victory.

“He has redefined what is possible and I’m just very privileged to get the 100 for my father — it’s a special moment,” the jockey said.

Mullins had been left on 99 wins when odds-on favorite El Fabiolo pulled up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and outsider Captain Guinness took the race earlier in the day.

But he didn’t have to wait long for his century as Jasmin de Vaux finished ahead of Romeo Coolio and Jalon D’oudairies.

Mullins won his first race at the festival 29 years ago when Tourist Attraction triumphed in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

“I’m just delighted, I wouldn’t say emotional,” he said. “When I started out I didn’t think anyone would ever train 100 Cheltenham winners and I certainly didn’t think it would be me.”

Mullins had claimed three victories on Day 1 of the festival. El Fabiolo was widely expected to provide the 100th, but a jumping error cost it in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and it was pulled up.

Edwardstone fell at the last and Captain Guinness, under jockey Rachael Blackmore, held off Gentleman De Mee to take the win.

“Obviously after El Fabiolo went you knew then that the race had opened right up and we felt we had a right chance then,” said Captain Guinness trainer Henry de Bromhead, who won the race for the fourth time. “We’ve been so lucky in this race, it’s such an exciting race. You can’t make any mistake really, it’s about speed and accuracy.”

Queen Camilla watched the race and presented the winner’s trophy.


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