Vroum Vroum Mag motors to Mares’ Hurdle win
Tuesday 15 March 2016
Watch the closing stages of the OLBG>com Mares' Hurdle and our interview with Ruby Walsh.
1 Vroum Vroum Mag (R Walsh) 4-6 F
2 Rock On The Moor (R Power) 66-1
3 Legacy Gold (A Lynch) 40-1
By Paul Wheeler
Three winners on a card would be cue for most trainers to head to the champagne bar with the intention of greatly depleting the world’s supply of the bubbly stuff.
Three Grade One winners on the day would be the stuff of dreams. For Willie Mullins it could not even rate as his best day after Vroum Vroum Mag completed a treble for Ireland’s champion trainer, all ridden by stable jockey Ruby Walsh.
The ball had started rolling in almost insouciant fashion by Douvan’s victory in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy and Mullins told Racing UK. “His form is his form. He probably hadn’t got real match practice but that’s because he’s so good, I think.
"And that was my worry here today – that something might put him under pressure. But, once again, he just seems to be able float across the ground, he just seems to have a huge high cruising speed that a lot of horses can’t match and he had the race won a long way out without any effort.”
“When Patrick [Mullins, the trainer’s son,] rode him and we’d discussed how we were going to ride him in Leopardstown he said going down to the first he said he was doing one stride to the other horses’ one and a half and two strides. And he just changed tactics and let him go on.
“And that’s what he is. He just has a different gear.”
Mullins admitted that he was certain about the chances of Annie Power before she broke the course record to win the Stan James Champion Hurdle.
“Coming here today I just said we have two real hot shots –Douvan and Vroum Vroum Mag," he said.
"Their work at home had been good. Min, we didn’t know how good he was and he was beaten by a better horse, ran a fantastic race.
“Annie Power, we had to cling to her form two years ago to put her in with a chance of winning the Champion Hurdle because the bare form she had of winning that race in Punchestown wouldn’t. But we knew she had the ability had we had enough time to get her fit. She worked last week, she worked well enough but she didn’t work anything like Vroum Vroum Mag. I said she’ll want to improve about 10lbs off that work – but we knew that was there in the tank from two years ago provided she hadn’t lost it. She showed us today she hasn’t lost it.”
She has also retained he position as the pre-eminent mare in the Mullins’ yard, which is a little harsh given that she had just taken her winning sequence to nine and has yet to finish out of the first three in 15 starts.
Vroum Vroum Mag was only fifth turning for home but that was because Walsh had a pretty good idea of what he had at his disposal, which was the effortless acceleration to take him to the lead at the last, where The Govaness suffered a fatal fall, to win by two and three-quarter lengths
“Vroum Vroum Mag is very plain, ordinary,” Mullins said. “You see her out in a field of horses you mightn’t even recognise that’s she’s a racehorse. And going around on the gallops she’s the same – all the girls ride her. She loves that, she’s a kids’ ride and it’s only when you pull her together and ask her to do something that she gets into overdrive. She seems to have gears that you can’t see looking at her as a model.”
“I imagine last year’s day was fantastic so today’s day comes behind that, I suppose.”
Still, like the song said, three out of four ain’t bad.