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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Patrick's Day as Aramon clinches another Galway Hurdle for Mullins family

Denis Hogan announces riding retirement after victory in the Arthur Guinness Handicap Hurdle.

Patrick Mullins: Aramon
Patrick Mullins: Aramon "has to be a Champion Hurdle horse after that".
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

ARAMON GAVE WILLIE and Patrick Mullins a second Galway Hurdle success in three years with a fine weight-carrying performance in the Ballybrit feature.

The seven-year-old looked a class act as he followed up his triumph in the Grade Three Grimes Hurdle from five weeks earlier, having been second in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Sharjah, the winner for the Closutton team in 2018, has gone on to show he is better than a handicapper and Aramon too could do the same after running out a ready winner.

The 7/1 chance was brought with a perfectly-timed run to challenge before the final flight and scooted clear from there to win by two and a quarter lengths from Hearts Are Trumps, with Petit Mouchoir in third and Olly Murphy’s British raider Hunters Call fourth.

“He has to be a Champion Hurdle horse after that,” Patrick Mullins said afterwards.

“He was a very good novice and a bit like Sharjah lost his way then, but his run off top-weight in the County and to win off top-weight here – it looks like he’s getting his mojo back.

“I’d imagine it’ll be Grade Ones from now on.”

Earlier, trainer Denis Hogan announced he was giving up riding after steering Bua Boy (5/1 favourite) to victory in the Arthur Guinness Handicap Hurdle.

The County Tipperary handler went out on a high by saddling the first two home with his mount beating Alabaster by two and a quarter lengths.

“I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s hard to let go,” said Hogan, who is rapidly making his mark in the training ranks.

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“I have more things going on nowadays. It’s gone so busy at home and there are days when I can’t think what’s going on as there is so much happening. I wouldn’t even know I’m riding sometimes.

“It’s going so well. The only reason I could do this so long is because I’ve got such a great team at home. I couldn’t have stayed riding for so long if I hadn’t had that back-up behind me.

“My parents have been a massive help. I talked to them once or twice about doing this and they said keep doing it if you enjoy it.”

He went on: “I thought he could win, but you never know until everything goes right in the race. I thought if ever there was time to go and leave the job, it was here at my favourite track.

“I had a good career, I wouldn’t say outstanding but I rode lots of winners and this was probably my Cheltenham.”

Polished Steel made it two from two over fences when taking the Grade Three spoils in the Rockshore Novice Chase.

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