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Press Release 4th March 2024 Cheltenham

Cheltenham Racecourse announces today that the Grade Two National Hunt Chase, staged on Champion Day at The Festival (Tuesday 12th March), will be run in honour of the late Maureen Mullins in 2024.


Mullins, who sadly passed away aged 94 on February 14th, was the matriarch of an outstanding Irish racing dynasty.


Her late husband Paddy saddled half a dozen Festival winners which included the great mare Dawn Run, the only horse in history to win the Champion Hurdle (1984) and the Cheltenham Gold Cup (1986).


Her five children have also had a huge impact on The Festival, none more so than her trainer son Willie who has saddled a record 94 winners at Jump racing’s Olympics to date. Sons Tony and Tom have also enjoyed success as trainers at The Festival while grandsons Patrick, Danny and Emmet have all ridden Festival winners.


Maureen Mullins herself was also a winning rider, and an owner and breeder.


Ian Renton, Managing Director, West, The Jockey Club, said: “The National Hunt Chase has a long tradition of commemorating some of Jump racing’s most famous names and we are delighted that the Mullins family has agreed to have the historic contest run in honour of Maureen Mullins in 2024.


“A true stalwart of Jump racing, Maureen Mullins was a regular visitor to The Festival and her sad passing last month leaves a big void. We hope that putting her name to the National Hunt Chase celebrates her tremendous legacy in the appropriate way.”


Willie Mullins said: “Our family are delighted and honoured to have a race named after our mother Maureen who had a great affinity for Cheltenham and enjoyed every moment there.”


Tony Mullins added: "Undoubtedly the correct race for a great stayer."


Maureen Mullins National Hunt Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) 3m 5f 200y –

Facts & Figures




The Grade Two Maureen Mullins National Hunt Novices’ Chase is the oldest race run at The Festival.


Until the 1930s, only the Grand National was more important than the National Hunt Chase in the Jump calendar.


The race had taken place at a number of venues until it became a part of the new two-day National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham in 1911. It had also been run at Cheltenham in 1904 and 1905.


The 2008 race was run as the Peter O’Sullevan National Hunt Chase to celebrate the legendary commentator’s 90th birthday and in 2012 it honoured the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.


The 2013 renewal remembered the late Lord John Oaksey, the leading amateur rider, journalist, broadcaster and founder of the Injured Jockeys’ Fund, while the 2014 race, the first as a Listed contest, was run in honour of three-time champion Jump jockey Terry Biddlecombe. The 2015 contest remembered trainer Toby Balding OBE while in 2021 it commemorated Lord Vestey, Cheltenham’s longstanding Chairman.


It was upgraded to Grade Two status in 2017, when it was run in honour of J T McNamara, one of the finest amateur jockeys of all time who passed away at the age of 41 in July 2016.


In 2022 it was staged as the Ukraine Appeal National Hunt National Hunt Chase in recognition of the British Red Cross’s humanitarian effort following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Last year it was run in honour of WellChild.


The distance was reduced from four miles to three miles and six furlongs in August, 2019, following a review by Cheltenham Racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority.


Usually restricted to amateur riders, the 2021 edition was ridden by professional jockeys due to the COVID-19 pandemic.




The highest number of runners in a post-war field size was 37 (1948) and the smallest six (2022). There is now a limit of 18 runners.




J P McManus is the most successful owner with six wins - Bit Of A Skite (1983), Front Line (1995), Rith Dubh (2002), Butler’s Cabin (2007), Cause Of Causes (2015) and Minella Rocco (2016).




Jonjo O’Neill with six wins is the most successful trainer since 1946 – Front Line (1995), Rith Dubh (2002), Sudden Shock (2003), Native Emperor (2004), Butler’s Cabin (2007) and Minella Rocco (2016).




Patrick Mullins is the most successful jockey since 1946 with four victories on Back in Focus (2013), Rathvinden (2018), Stattler (2022) and Gaillard Du Mesnil (2023).




The biggest shocks were provided by Topsham Bay (1990) and Another Rum (2005), both at 40-1.


Gaillard Du Mesnil, 10-11 Favourite in 2023, is the shortest-priced victor and 17 of the 76 runnings (22%) since 1946 have gone to the market leader.




The oldest winners in the post-war period have been the 11-year-olds Prattler (1946), Red Vale (1965), Waggoners Walk (1980) and Flimsy Truth (1997). The youngest winner in the same period is the five-year-old Gay Tie (1978).


The overall breakdown by age is as follows:

5yo - 1 win

6yo - 7 wins

7yo - 30 wins

8yo - 21 wins

9yo - 7 wins

10yo - 6 wins

11yo - 4 wins




Stattler (2022) recorded the race record time over the current distance of 7m 37.80s.




IRELAND (23): Castledermot (1949); Pontage (1953); Quare Times (1954); Dorimont (1964); Mr Midland (1974); Gay Tie (1978); Artic Ale (1979); Hazy Dawn (1982); Bit Of A Skite (1983); Macks Friendly (1984); Omerta (1986); Loving Around (1996); Deejaydee (1999); Another Rum (2005); Chicago Grey (2011); Back In Focus (2013); Cause Of Causes (2015); Tiger Roll (2017), Rathvinden (2018), Ravenhill (2020), Galvin (2021), Stattler (2022) & Gaillard Du Mesnil (2023).




Lisa O’Neill became the second female jockey to ride the winner when successful on Tiger Roll in 2017, following on from Katie Walsh’s ground-breaking victory on Poker De Sivola in 2010.


The race has proved a good guide to future success in recent seasons, with several runners having gone on to win top staying chases since 2000.


Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup winners

2018 Native River (2nd 2016 National Hunt Chase)


Randox Grand National winners

2005 Hedgehunter (12th 2003 National Hunt Chase)

2007 Silver Birch (4th 2004 National Hunt Chase)

2018 & 2019 Tiger Roll (won 2017 National Hunt Chase)


Scottish National winners

2007 Hot Weld (won 2006 National Hunt Chase)

2011 Beshabar (2nd 2011 National Hunt Chase)

2013 Godsmejudge (3rd 2013 National Hunt Chase)

2016 and 2017 Vicente (5th 2016 National Hunt Chase)


Irish National winners

2003 Timbera (2nd 2002 National Hunt Chase)

2006 Point Barrow (5th 2005 National Hunt Chase)

2007 Butler’s Cabin (won 2007 National Hunt Chase)

2009 Niche Market (8th 2009 National Hunt Chase)

2014 Shutthefrontdoor (6th 2014 National Hunt Chase)

2015 Thunder And Roses (UR 2015 National Hunt Chase)

2016 Rogue Angel (7th 2014 National Hunt Chase)


Welsh National winners

2001 Supreme Glory (4th 2000 National Hunt Chase)

2004 Silver Birch (4th 2004 National Hunt Chase)

2007 Miko De Beauchene (UR 2007 National Hunt Chase)

2011 Le Beau Bai (PU 2009 National Hunt Chase)

2014 Emperor’s Choice (7th 2013 National Hunt Chase)

2016 Native River (2nd 2016 National Hunt Chase)


Coral Trophy (formerly Hennessy Gold Cup) winners

2004 Celestial Gold (2nd 2004 National Hunt Chase)

2016 Native River (2nd 2016 National Hunt Chase)

2018 Sizing Tennessee (3rd 2018 National Hunt Chase)


Maureen Mullins National Hunt Novices’ Chase Roll Of Honour


Year Winner Age-Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

2023 Gaillard Du Mesnil 7-11-07 Mr Patrick Mullins Willie Mullins IRE Marie Donnelly 10-11F 10

2022 Stattler 7-11-06 Mr Patrick Mullins Willie Mullins IRE Ronnie Bartlett 2-1 6

2021 Galvin 7-11-06 Jack Kennedy Ian Ferguson IRE Ronnie Bartlett 7-2 12

2020 Ravenhill 10-11-06 Mr Jamie Codd Gordon Elliott IRE Try Ravenhill Syndicate 12-1 14

2019 Le Breuil 7-11-06 Mr Jamie Codd Ben Pauling Emma Palmer 14-1 18

2018 Rathvinden 10-11-06 Mr Patrick Mullins Willie Mullins IRE Ronnie Bartlett 9-2 16

2017 Tiger Roll 7-11-06 Ms Lisa O’Neill Gordon Elliott IRE Gigginstown House Stud 16-1 18

2016 Minella Rocco 6-11-06 Mr Derek O’Connor Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 8-1 20

2015 Cause Of Causes 7-11-06 Mr Jamie Codd Gordon Elliott IRE J P McManus 8-1 17

2014 Midnight Prayer 9-11-06 Mr Joshua Newman Alan King The Legends Partnership 8-1 15

2013 Back In Focus 8-11-06 Mr Patrick Mullins Willie Mullins IRE Andrea & Graham Wylie 9-4F 16

2012 Teaforthree 8-11-06 Mr J T McNamara Rebecca Curtis T437 5-1F 19

2011 Chicago Grey 8-11-06 Mr Derek O’Connor Gordon Elliott IRE John Earls 5-1F 16

2010 Poker De Sivola 7-11-06 Ms Katie Walsh Ferdy Murphy David Johnson 14-1 18

2009 Tricky Trickster 6-11-11 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen Nigel Twiston-Davies Million In Mind Partnership 11-1 19

2008 Old Benny 7-11-07 Mr Charlie Huxley Alan King Trevor Hemmings 9-1 20

2007 Butler’s Cabin 7-12-00 Mr Alan Berry Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 33-1 19

2006 Hot Weld 7-11-11 Mr Richard Harding Ferdy Murphy Simon Hubbard Rodwell 33-1 22

2005 Another Rum 7-11-07 Mr Mark O’Hare Ian Duncan IRE Ronald Lilley 40-1 20

2004 Native Emperor 8-11-11 Mr Robert Widger Jonjo O’Neill J C, J R & S R Hitchins 5-1JF 22

2003 Sudden Shock 8-11-07 Mr Denis Cullen Jonjo O’Neill Darren Mercer 25-1 24

2002 Rith Dubh 10-11-11 Mr J T McNamara Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus 10-1 26

2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)

2000 Relaxation 8-12-00 Mr Mark Bradburne Henry Daly Sir Philip Payne-Gallwey-Vicky Wiggin 8-1 21

1999 Deejaydee 7-12-00 Mr Tony Martin Michael Hourigan IRE Mrs M Devine 13-2 21

1998 Wandering Light 9-12-07 Mr Rupert Wakley Tim Forster Anne Duchess of Westminster 10-1 24

1997 Flimsy Truth 11-12-07 Mr Micky Harris Martin Weston Martin Weston 33-1 23

1996 Loving Around 8-11-06 Mr Philip Fenton Edward O’Grady IRE Lord Tavistock 10-1 22

1995 Front Line 8-12-07 Mr John Berry Jonjo O'Neill J P McManus 7-1 25

1994 Christmas Gorse 8-12-04 Mr Marcus Armytage Nick Gaselee David Stoddart 14-1 19

1993 Ushers Island 7-12-04 Mr Noel Wilson Howard Johnson Bob Bowden 15-2 13

1992 Keep Talking 7-12-07 Mr Marcus Armytage Tim Thomson Jones Jim Joel 5-2F 24

1991 Smooth Escort 7-12-00 Mr Tony Martin Di Haine A F Budge (Equine) Ltd 7-1 18

1990 Topsham Bay 7-12-00 Mr Paul Hacking David Barons Michael Marsh 40-1 25

1989 Boraceva 6-12-07 Mr Seamus Mullins Toby Balding Duke of Atholl 4-1F 21

1988 Over The Road 7-12-04 Mr Tom Costello Terry Casey John Upson 10-1 28

1987 Mighty Mark 8-12-07 Mr Jimmy Walton Frank Walton Frank Walton 8-1 30

1986 Omerta 6-12-07 Mr Lorcan Wyer Homer Scott IRE Mrs J McMorrow 9-4F 22

1985 Northern Bay 9-12-04 Mr Tony Fowler Tom Bill Twycross Frozen Food Centre Ltd 12-1 20

1984 Macks Friendly 7-12-07 Mr Willie Mullins Paddy Mullins IRE John Mulhern 11-4 18

1983 Bit Of A Skite 7-12-00 Mr Frank Codd Edward O'Grady IRE J P McManus 5-1F 29

1982 Hazy Dawn 7-12-07 Mr Willie Mullins Paddy Mullins IRE R Daniels 8-1 26

1981 Lucky Vane 6-12-07 Mr Stephen Bush Toby Balding Bridget Swire 13-1 21

1980 Waggoners Walk 11-12-04 Mr Tony Fowler Caroline Mason George Mason 10-1 23

1979 Artic Ale 8-12-00 Mr John Fowler Dan Moore IRE Anthony Robinson 20-1 25

1978 Gay Tie 5-11-09 Mr John Fowler Mick O'Toole IRE Dr P Morrissey 10-1 17

1977 Alpenstock 10-12-04 Mr Dick Saunders Stan Mellor Harron Thompson 14-1 21

1976 Sage Merlin 8-12-07 Mr Peter Greenall Jack Hardy John Bingham 5-2F 22

1975 Abandoned (course waterlogged)

1974 Mr Midland 7-12-04 Mr Mouse Morris Edward O’Grady IRE B Naughton 7-2 17

1973 Foreman 7-12-01 Mr Bill Shand Kydd Tom Jones R Dean 11-2F 25

1972 Charley Winking 7-12-00 Mr Derrick Scott Leslie Scott Leslie Scott 20-1 23

1971 Deblin’s Green 8-11-07 Mr Derek Edmunds George Yardley George Yardley 9-2F 20

1970 Domason 7-12-01 Mr Robert Alner Harry Dufosee Harry Dufosee 10-1 18

1969 Lizzy The Lizard 10-12-00 Mr Grant Cann Tony Hartnoll Tony Hartnoll 10-1 35

1968 Fascinating Forties 9-11-07 Mr Michael Dickinson George Owen Lord Leverhulme 9-1 22

1967 Master Tammy 9-11-07 Mr Brian Fanshawe George Guilding George Guilding 100-7 24

1966 Polaris Missile 7-11-09 Mr John Thorne John Thorne John Thorne 100-6 29

1965 Red Vale 11-12-00 Mr George Small Albert Piper Mrs C Smith 100-8 26

1964 Dorimont 10-12-01 Mr Charles Vaughan Tom Taaffe IRE M A Walshe 4-1 30

1963 Time 8-12-00 Mr Ian Balding Willie Stephenson John Cheatle 8-1 35

1962 Go Slow 7-12-07 Mr George Small Albert Piper Mrs I R Millar 10-1 26

1961 Superfine 8-12-04 Sir William Pigott-Brown Frank Cundell I Kerwood 10-1 33

1960 Proud Socks 8-12-00 Mr H Thompson Vivian Bishop Vivian Bishop 100-6 22

1959 Sabaria 8-12-00 Mr John Lawrence Bob Turnell Bob Turnell 5-2F 17

1958 Spud Tamson 7-12-04 Mr Geordie Dun Tommy Dun Mrs T D C Dun 13-2 28

1957 Kari Sou 8-12-00 Mr Alan Lillingston Archie Thomlinson Archie Thomlinson 100-6 24

1956 Rosana III 7-12-00 Mr G Everitt G Everitt G Everitt 9-1 22

1955 Reverend Prince 9-12-00 Mr C Pocock Peter Dufosee Peter Dufosee 33-1 26

1954 Quare Times 8-12-04 Mr Bunny Cox Vincent O’Brien IRE Mrs R Smyth 5-2F 26

1953 Pontage 7-12-04 Mr Bunny Cox Dan Moore IRE Lady Honor Svejdar 9-4F 22

1952 Frosty Knight 6-12-00 Mr Charles Straker Ian Straker Ian Straker 15-2 19

1951 Cushendun 6-12-04 Mr Peter Chisman Bobby Renton Lurline Brotherton 10-1 18

1950 Ellesmere 7-12-07 Mr Atty Corbett Ken Cundell Lord Bicester 100-30F 26

1949 Castledermot 7-12-07 Lord Mildmay Vincent O'Brien IRE Mrs Harry Keogh 6-4F 17

1948 Bruno II 8-12-03 Major Guy Cunard William Anstruther-Gray William Anstruther-Gray 20-1 37

1947 Maltese Wanderer 8-12-03 Major Dermot Daly Tom Yates G J Wells 6-1 20

1946 Prattler 11-12-03 Major Dermot Daly Tom Yates E Manner 33-1 20


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