Mullins plays down UK trainers’ title bid

Willie Mullins says winning the British trainers' championship is not his main priority once the jumps campaign moves through the gears this autumn.

The County Carlow handler and Paul Nicholls last season became engaged in a terrific duel for the title, which the latter eventually won on a dramatic final day at Sandown in April.

Reflecting on the championship fight, Mullins told the Guardian: "I enjoyed it as much as anyone did.

"It was something to aim for at the time."

On the chances of going one place better this season, the trainer added: "If it happens, it happens. My priority is to get my own horses ready and get them going here.

"We're going to stick to what we've been doing all along and if we can see an opportunity to win more prize-money in England, well and good"

"Like last season, if we have a particularly good Cheltenham (Festival), you would probably think it might be on then.

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"We've had two exceptional Cheltenhams the last two years but you're not guaranteed that every year.

"We like to get our team set at home here and get them right, rather than chasing something that is difficult.

"We'd all like to win (the title). It's not as if we're dismissing it out of hand. But we'll look after our fundamentals first.

"We'll try and keep our horses sound, rather than rushing them to win early-season races.

"We're going to stick to what we've been doing all along and if we can see an opportunity to win more prize-money in England, well and good.

Mullins could, however, still be represented in the first Grade One of the season in Britain, the Betfair Chase at Haydock on 19 November.

He said: "If a horse is ready for it, we might do that. We'll certainly keep an eye on it.

"But it's very hard sometimes to send a horse abroad for the first run of the season."

Read More at RTÉ Racing

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