Elimay became the 10th Festival winner of 2022 for trainer Willie Mullins when landing the Grade Two Mrs Paddy Power Chase. Mullins’ 10 winners this year is a new record for winners trained at a single Festival.
Mullins, the most successful trainer of all-time at The Festival, has now trained 88 Festival winners overall.
Mullins saddled 5 winners on Day Four in 2022 – with cumulative odds of 1,518-1.
It was a seventh Festival success for jockey Mark Walsh.
David Casey, representing Willie Mullins, said:
“She's not overly big, she's quite small to be jumping fences, but she's really tough, stays really well and she doesn't know when she's beat.'
“She didn't help Mark a lot of times, but that can be her at times. As I say, she's a little bit small, and she has got scope, you just wouldn't be sending her every fence. But you know that she does stay really well and she is very tough.”
Winning jockey Mark Walsh said:
“She’s got the heart of a lion, she’s so small but she’s so brave. All she wants to do is please you and win for you and thankfully she did that today. Early on she was jumping to her right a little bit, so she just took a while to warm up but once I pulled her out in the straight she put her head down and galloped all the way to the line. She’s so tough and fought all the way to the finish. In fairness to her she loves her jumping and loves her racing and she always had enough. It was frustrating to finish second last year after running so well, but she’s done it today.”
Charlie Deutsch, rider of runner-up Pink Legend, said:
“Cracking run. I wasn’t expecting to be that close, and obviously you’d rather win, but she’s a wonderful mare and I’ve always had faith in her ability. She’s not slow either, is she? She can be temperamental, but today she was really up for it. She likes this track, and I think she likes the better ground and a nice sunny day helps.”
Frank Mahon, owner-breeder of second-placed Pink Legend, said:
“I am so proud it’s unbelievable. I actually thought she would be placed - I said to Venetia, it’s her going today. If you look back when she won at Ascot earlier in the year, it was good to soft. She doesn’t like it really… Venetia said she goes on any ground, but if you look through the records, she prefers this. I really thought she’d won halfway up the run in. I thought Charlie gave her a wonderful ride. I’d like to thank Venetia and all her staff - they’ve been wonderful.
“Almost having a winner at Cheltenham is something I never dreamed of - it’s been absolutely wonderful. Hopefully we’ll come back next year - and we’ve got a full-sister to her who’s doing alright. If she makes the progress that Pink Legend has, then maybe she will be here. She does like it very soft, though.”
Venetia Williams, trainer of second Pink Legend said:
“I couldn’t imagine last week, going into this, that things would go this well. Nearly every single horse has finished in the frame in some way, and it’s fantastic.”
Joseph O’Brien who saddled the third Scarlet And Dove, said:
“She ran well - I’m happy with the run. She’s always been a good mare, and Bryan [Cooper] gave her a great ride.”