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Trainer Willie Mullins today broke Aidan O'Brien's NH record of 155 winners in a season

Updated: Saturday, 23 Feb 2013 14:33 | Comments

Away We Go gave Mullins his 156th victory of the season, breaking the record held by Aidan O'Brien
Away We Go gave Mullins his 156th victory of the season, breaking the record held by Aidan O'Brien

Trainer Willie Mullins broke Aidan O'Brien's National Hunt record as an early double at Fairyhouse took his tally to 156 winners for the season.

O'Brien set the mark in the 1995/6 season before turning his attentions to dominating the Flat, but Mullins looks set to obliterate the record with nearly three months of the campaign still to go.

Mullins might have thought he was going to match O'Brien's achievement in the opening Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle but evens favourite Dogora could finish only second.

However, Glens Melody stepped up to the mark with a stylish verdict in the ITBA Fillies Scheme Novice Hurdle to equal the record before Away We Go swooped late and fast in the attheraces.com Exclusive Barry Geraghty Blog Handicap Hurdle to give Mullins a landmark victory.

Mullins said: "The wet summer we had suited us, a lot of our horses are bigger, heavier types and need a good cut in the ground, which we got all summer.

"We had a huge amount of winners by the start of October, when we are only usually starting in other years. We usually have a quiet summer and get going when the weather changes.

"We kept going with a lot of horses we would usually throw out to grass, we kept them in as the ground was right and it worked.

"The horses are in form and hopefully they can stay like that for another couple of weeks."

Paul Townend delivered Away We Go with a perfectly-timed challenge as long-time leader Dazzling Susie faded away after building up a healthy early lead.

However, she proved game enough and fought back again close to the line, but Townend was sitting pretty on the 6-1 shot, winning by half a length.

Away We Go was sporting a tongue-tie and Mullins said: "It made a huge difference, I think, today.

"He seems to like this place and we'll put him in the Irish National. He wouldn't be as well handicapped over fences, but it might be worth a shot at the kind of prize money and we can always come back for those hurdle races."

Townend always looked confident aboard 4-6 favourite Glens Melody in her two-and-a-half-mile heat and she took it up from stablemate Tasitiocht coming down to the last, with only Byerley Babe setting out in pursuit.

Her efforts proved fruitless though as Glens Melody was two and three-quarter lengths too good.

Mullins said: "She is improving away, but she didn't jump particularly well until she had to at the last two.

"She showed a good turn of foot to put it to bed and she stayed on well.

"She'll come back here for the new Grade One mares' hurdle at the (Easter) Festival."

Stocktons Wing (5-4) had earlier outpointed front-runner Dogora to claim the Grade Two Winning Fair Hurdle.

The market indicated it may turn into a two-horse race and so it proved with Mark Walsh biding his time before launching his challenge on the Charles O'Brien-trained winner.

Walsh switched out to challenge at the top of the straight and while Stocktons Wing took a little time to hit top gear, a fine leap at the last saw him edge in front and Dogora had no answer to that final push.

O'Brien is now planning a crack at the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham with his two-and-a-quarter-length winner.

He said: "He has earned his right to travel now as his form is very solid and he jumps very well.

"He is honest, tough and straightforward and the right type to bring to Cheltenham - he's not one to have a nervous breakdown and run like his tail is on fire on the way to the first hurdle!

"He'll enjoy the hustle and bustle and I presume he'll go for the Triumph Hurdle as he'll have a lot of weight in the Fred Winter."

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