Last Saturday’s Grand National Victory for Rule The World 33/1 in Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud colours came a month after his Don Cossack had landed him the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Rule The World, trained by Mouse Morris, was a maiden over fences, but O’Leary explained: “He’s always been a very good horse, but he has had two pelvic injuries and has been off the track for two years. We’ve been running him in graded races and he’s been performing very well. This was only my second runner in the race [although he also had two other runners in today’s contest] – we ran another trained by Mouse, Hear The Echo, about six or more years ago after he had won the Irish National the year before. This is an incredible achievement by Mouse to bring a horse back to the track after two pelvic injuries, and to win the world’s greatest race over four and a half miles in soft ground shows the genius that Mouse is. He has always been a trainer for the big day – he doesn’t have a huge number of horses, but the ones he has look incredibly well, and if he would only get his hair cut he could have a great future!”
“There’s no comparison between this race and the Gold Cup. Our aim has always been to win graded races, and they tend to be badly handicapped because they try their best to win those races. I was very relaxed all the way round today because I didn’t expect to win it. First Lieutenant fell early on and Sir Des Champs [who also ran in his colours] went at The Chair, but Mouse and his able assistant, his son Jamie, had this horse right and David Mullins [the winning jockey] for a young man rode a great race. He nearly fell off coming over Becher’s on the second circuit, but never panicked and was very cool. It seems to be a feature of most of the Mullins clan, whatever it is they breed into them in Kilkenny, that they are very cool and collected.”
“We’ve had horses for ten or 12 years, and I’ve learned from J P McManus over the years that you need the numbers and you end up with a few good ones. It costs a lot of money, but when you win your first Gold Cup it’s worth it, when you win your second Gold Cup it’s worth it, and when you win an Irish National it is, but I never thought I’d win the Grand National. J P wins the National.”
Asked about Rule The World as a character, Morris said: “When you consider the injuries he has been through you can only call him a horse of iron, but a pure gentleman.”
Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack has been well supported for the Punchestown Gold Cup (11/10 from 7/4 with Sky Bet) which is run at the end of the month.
Cause Of Causes has been the subject of good money (9/1 from 12/1 with Bet365) for the Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday a big run looks on the cards.
Yours In Sport!