Home » A look back at Min’s best victories as the Willie Mullins-trained star heads for retirement

A look back at Min’s best victories as the Willie Mullins-trained star heads for retirement

A look back at Min’s best victories as the Willie Mullins-trained star heads for retirement

Any horse that dons the iconic pink and green polka dot colours of esteemed owner Rich Ricci is a special horse, but Minis undoubtedly up there with the best to do so. Fans of National Hunt racing revelled in his thrilling rivalry with Nicky Henderson’s great Altior, and it is a great shame that both of those horses who created so many fantastic memories for racegoers over the last four or five years have been retired ahead of the 2021-22 jumps season.

Min won 12 of his 24 career outings, including seven times at Grade 1 level, but pulledup in his last two races last season — the Leopardstown Dublin Chase and the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham — and with an injury already ruling him out until December, the difficult decision to retire the 10-year-old has been made with just a month to go until the latest renewal of the National Hunt campaign.

So, as we gear up for the new season, read on as we take a look back at Min’sglittering career and dissect some of hisbest victories.

26 December 2016: Racing Post Novice Chase (Grade 1)

Minwon his first Grade 1 race at the 2016 Leopardstown Christmas Festival, romping home in the Racing Post Novice Chase on Boxing Day. Having won his previous three races on Irish soil by considerable distance, Min set off as the odds-on favourite with sites like Smarkets in the two mile and one furlong race, and he duly delivered. With Ruby Walsh in the saddle, the horse jumped well throughout to gain command ofthe rest of the field and he streaked clear to win by nine lengths clear of 25/1 shot Ordinary World.

9 December 2018: Punchestown Chase (Grade 1)

Minhad a difficult finish to the 2017-18 season, failing to win any of his final three races, but he was back to his very best in his first outing of the following campaign, winning the Punchestown Chase. The even money favourite raced keenly in third before becoming tight of room and even being bumped by a rival. However, when switched right by Walsh, he improved and gained the lead two fences out, going on to beat Shattered Loveby a length and a half.

2 February 2019: Dublin Chase (Grade 1)

Following directly on from that narrow victory at Punchestown, Minlanded back-to-back Dublin Chase triumphs at Leopardstown. 2018 marked the first edition of the two mile and one furlong race, but this renewal was the Dublin Chase’s inaugural outing as a Grade 1 contest and Minprevailed. Tracking the leader around the home turn, the Mullins-trained gelding was soon in the lead and he pushed on to win easily by six lengths clear of Ordinary World.

12 March 2020: Ryanair Chase (Grade 1)

After three failed attempts to land a victory at the Cheltenham Festival, in all of which he succumbed to the prowess of Altior, Minfinally romped home in first at Prestbury Park in 2020. Switched to the Ryanair Chase, Minwas the second favourite behind A Plus Tard, but the then nine-year-old was always prominent and he had a length a half advantage to work with at the last. And, despite drifting slightly right and giving Saint Calvadosa chance to swoop in, Minheld on to win by nothing more than a neck.

6 December 2020: Punchestown Chase (Grade 1)

Minscooped his final career victory in last year’s Punchestown Chase, making it a hattrick of successive wins in the Grade 1 race for the Mullins-trained horse. Set off as the 13/8 favourite, jockey Patrick Mullins and Minmade all the running for the best part of the race and he kept on well in the closing stages to win by a length clear of his stablemate and 12/1 chance Tornado Flyer.

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