Livelovelaugh gives Patrick Mullins the perfect Grand National warmup
Just six Irish-trained horses lined up on Friday at Aintree but made presence felt
Jockey Patrick Mullins on Livelovelaugh on their way winning the Randox Health Topham Steeple Chase race on Ladies Day at the Grand National Festival at Aintree. Photo: Peter Powell/EPA
Patrick Mullins enjoyed a perfect Grand National warm-up when winning over the famous Aintree fences for the first time in Friday’s Randox Topham Trophy.
The 31-year-old champion amateur made all on Livelovelaugh to win in the same Rich Ricci colours he will don on one of the National favourites, Burrows Saint, for his father, Willie Mullins.
It opens up the chance of a father-son victory in the most famous race of all and the 15-2 shot Livelovelaugh supplied a perfect sighter for the man trying to be the first amateur in 31 years to win the National.
“The ground is coming right for Burrows Saint. I rode him out the last two mornings at Haydock and he is in great form.
“You don’t know how they will take to the track until they get here, but if he takes to it, he’s got the right kind of weight, he’s the right kind of age, he’s relatively unexposed and I wouldn’t swap him,” Mullins said.
Just half a dozen Irish-trained horses lined up in Friday’s other races at Aintree but made their presence felt with a vengeance.
Fakir D’Oudairies ended a long losing streak with a decisive Marsh Chase victory for Joseph O’Brien and Mark Walsh.
Earlier the County Hurdle winner Belfast Banter graduated to Grade 1 level in the Betway Novices Hurdle and gave both Peter Fahey and Kevin Seton their first top-flight successes.
Sexton has a first National ride on Shattered Love on Saturday and said: “I didn’t think I could be more shocked than after the County Hurdle, but I am more shocked today!
“I fancied him and thought he’d run well, but it’s a dream actually to win my first Grade One.”
Jack Kennedy also won a handicap hurdle on the 22-1 shot Tronador for Denise Foster.