All reigns eventually come to an end. This weekend saw one of racing’s most coveted titles switch hands, that of ‘King of Ballybrit’, in other words, leading trainer at the Galway Races.
Champion National Hunt trainer, Willie Mullins, has been crowned leading trainer at this year’s festival, loosening the grip of Rosewell House maestro, Dermot Weld, on the title.
Not since Aidan O’Brien was leading trainer at the festival in 1997 had Weld’s name not been top of the roll of honour, but a score of 58 to 54 on the recently-introduced points-based system meant Mullins was successful.
The County Carlow trainer sent out 17 horses in 15 races, winning nine of them. Clondaw Warrior in the Guinness Galway Hurdle on Thursday, Ireland’s richest National Hunt race, being the highlight of his successes.
Dermot Weld had previously warned that his Galway team was not as strong as in previous years. He still managed six winners though.
Ruby Walsh ended the week as leading National Hunt rider with seven winners and Pat Smullen was the Flat’s top scorer with six.