IRELAND’s domination of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival reached new heights when trainers from the Emerald Isle saddled six  of seven winners on ‘St Patrick’s Thursday’ to wrap up the Prestbury Cup from Great Britain with a day to spare.

Willie Mullins (photo) edged ahead of Nicky Henderson as the winning-most trainer in Festival history, as a double courtesy of Penhill and Laurina took his tally to 61 in all and seven for the week.

“When you start training in a base in Ireland, you are thinking to yourself ‘if I get one Cheltenham winner that will be it’, so I’ve never dreamt of being the winning-most trainer. It is a complete surprise,” said the Closutton handler.

“It is a huge thank you to my staff and owners that have given us that record, as without them I wouldn’t be in this position.  I’m lucky and delighted.”

Gordon Elliott is just one behind his great rival in the race for the top trainer award at this year’s meeting, thanks to a treble through Shattered Love, Delta Work and The Storyteller.

Not to be left out, Henry de Bromhead got in on the act with Balko Des Flos in the Ryanair Chase. –


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