Sir Anthony McCoy in the Gigginstown silks on Don Cossack
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By James Burn 4:56PM 12 OCT 2016
FORMER champion jump jockey Sir Anthony McCoy, who has ridden big-race winners for Willie Mullins and Michael O’Leary, says he is not surprised the two have split and reckons a clash of personalities is behind it.
The racing world was shocked last month when it was revealed Mullins would no longer train horses for Ryanair supremo O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud operation.
A rise in training fees was said to be the reason for 60 horses leaving Mullins’ yard, but McCoy, who is backing the Irish champion trainer to remain as a dominant force, believes there is more to it than meets the eye.
McCoy, who won the Grade 1 Growise Champion Novice Chase on the Mullins-trained Kempes in 2010 and steered O’Leary’s best horse Don Cossack to victory in Aintree’s Melling Chase last year, wrote in his William Hill blog: “It doesn’t surprise me at all that Willie Mullins and Michael O’Leary have split. Willie put up the training fees and Michael didn’t like it, but it’s definitely a clash of personalities.
“Neither of them will be dictated to and in some ways that’s why they are successful. For most people losing 60 horses would be their whole yard gone, but Willie will still dominate and I don’t think he will have lost any sleep over it.”
Gordon Elliott, who is Gigginstown’s main trainer, is 7-2 with Betfair Sportsbook to stop Mullins winning a tenth championship this term, but there was support for the Closutton maestro’s dominance to continue on Tuesday and he is 1-7 with the same firm to retain his title.