I Am Maximus to get official welcome home after Grand National victory

I Am Maximus To Get Official Welcome Home After Grand National Victory
Grand National winner I Am Maximus will be meeting locals in Leighlinbridge for an hour on Tuesday evening. Photo: PA
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Sarah Slater

Grand National winner I Am Maximus will be given an official welcome home in Co Carlow on Tuesday evening.

Large crowds are expected to turn out in Leighlinbridge from 5.30pm as local trainer Willie Mullins described the win as “our All-Ireland” as parading top horses through the village has become a regular habit.


The momentous win means Mullins is close to claiming the British trainers’ title for the first time in 70 years.

The Carlow man would be the second Irish trainer to claim the championship after the late Vincent O'Brien, who secured the title twice.

The £500,000 (€585,000) Grand National prize pot means Mullins leads British rivals Dan Skelton and Paul Nicholls with a fortnight left. Mullins has admitted he would “love” to win the championship.

Last month, Mullins claimed the Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle with State Man and the Gold Cup with Galopin des Champs. He is the first trainer to reach 100 Cheltenham Festival winners. Galopin des Champs was also given a massive reception in the Carlow village by locals and racing enthusiasts.

Cork jockey Paul Townend, who rode I Am Maximus to victory in the Grand National, has also won the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup this year, becoming the first jockey in 94 years to do so. He also won an Irish Gold Cup and Irish Champion Hurdle this year.


Speaking on KCLRFM radio, Mullins revealed he had to “restrain” himself throughout the race. “But when Paul angled out, my body took over. I started roaring for Paul to come on, which would be unlike me.

“I don’t usually cheer home winners but lucky enough for me to twice to win a race like that. It’s the one people want to win. It’s the one you see on television when you are young. That’s our All-Ireland for the want of a better word.”

Mullins won his first Grand National with Hedge Hunter 19 years ago with Ruby Walsh on board.

I Am Maximus will be meeting fans for an hour on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, Mullins will be running five horses in the Scottish National in Ayr on Saturday.

He added: “If we could manage to keep in front [in the British championship] that would be fantastic. We have to keep the concentration going, claim some of the big prize money and we might just hold on.” The championship ends later this month.

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