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Grand National hero David Mullins announces retirement at just 24

Wed 20 Jan 2021
 David Mullins has been looking to quit riding for some time (Focusonracing)
David Mullins has been looking to quit riding for some time (Focusonracing)

Grand National-winning rider David Mullins has announced his retirement from the saddle at the age of 24.

Mullins secured Aintree glory when steering Rule The World to victory in 2016 and counts nine Grade Ones wins on his CV.

He claimed his first top-level success aboard Nichols Canyon in the 2015 Morgiana Hurdle and also triumphed on the likes of future dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo and Savills Chase hero Kemboy in 2018.

Mullins, who rode primarily for his champion trainer uncle Willie and father Tom, was last in action when steering Blackbow to finish third at Naas on January 13 and bows out with 211 Irish winners to his name.

He said: “It just didn’t fit with what I wanted to do any more, but racing is a tough game to get out of, and I’ve been trying for the last year to 18 months.

Watch how Mullins guided Rule The World to Grand National glory

“Sales are 100 per cent something I’m looking at. I bought Court Maid for €1,800 and she’s won eight times now, including a €120,000 race last year.”

Mullins pointed to his Grand National victory as an obvious career highlight, but also took great pleasure in the wins of Bellshill and Faugheen for his uncle at the 2018 Punchestown Festival.

He said: “The Grand National was a highlight and it was certainly the biggest day of my career, but it was always nice to ride a winner for your mother as well.

“I suppose Bellshill and Faugheen at the Punchestown Festival in 2018 would stand out for me as well.

“That was special, to win two of the biggest races (the Punchestown Gold Cup and Champion Stayers Hurdle) for Willie when he was under pressure for the trainers’ title and for two of his biggest owners as well in Sir Graham Wylie and Rich and Susannah Ricci.

“They were two proper horses as well and I guess that should have kept me going as a jockey, but it didn’t.

“It was the easiest decision I’ve made (to retire), once I’d made it.”

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