Mullins festival fall and unseat record since 2003 Versus NJ Henderson

An interesting piece by Tony Keenan caught my eye, prompting me to take a deeper look at the record of Willie Mullins’s festival record with falls and unseats. Tony mentioned that Mullins, reportedly, is not a big fan of schooling horses.  The trainer’s record at last week’s festival suggested that such a theory was not sound. But it seemed odd for a man who pays such attention to detail to pursue a path that, overall, damaged the chances of his hurdlers and chasers.

Tony looked at the chasers in particular.  Using the superb I dug a bit deeper, taking in hurdlers as well and going back to 2003.

2003 onward

Since 2003 Mullins has had 417 Cheltenham Festival runners over obstacles.  35 of those fell: 8.39%, and 9 unseated: 2.15%.

139 of those runners were in chases. 21 fell: 15.1%, and 4 unseated: 2.88%


2018 alone

Last week he had 57 runners over obstacles. 10 fell: 17.5%, and 1 unseated: 1.75%

17 of the 57 were steeplechases. There were 6 fallers: 35.2%, and no unseats.


Final comparison figures

Overall Mullins faller percentage in all festival jumps races since 2003:  8.39%

Faller percentage for festival 2018 – 17.5%

Overall chasing falls: 15.1%

2018 chasing falls: 35.2%

Overall hurdle falls: 5.6%

2018 hurdle falls: 10%

No question this year’s festival was an annus horribilis for Wille Mullins regarding falls and unseats, but his long term record suggests it was a one off.

Still, looking at Nicky Henderson over the same period, Willie has work to do:


NJ Henderson festival fall & unseat record since 2003

481 runners over obstacles suffered 17 falls: 3.53%, and 7 unseats: 1.4% (Mullins: 8.39% & 2.15%)

218 runners over fences suffered 9 falls: 4.12%, and 4 unseats: 1.8% (Mullins: 15.1% & 2.88%)

263 runners over hurdles produced 8 fallers: 3.04%,  and 3 unseats: 1.1% (Mullins: 5.6% & 1.8%)


Here are a couple of screenshots from showing just  two of the many hundreds of queries you can run. There is a three-day free trial although it does take a while to find your way around. Links above are not affiliates; I receive no payment from Horseracebase, I just like what they do.

Mullins all fes


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mullins 2018

Trainers’ record since 1997 in Betvictor

Here are the stats by trainer for Saturday’s Betvictor Gold Cup. Note that, in the place column, a win also counts as a place. Bets equals number of runners. Far right column shows how many runnings of the race those runners are spread over. P/L is profit/loss at SP where you’ll see that Martin Pipe and Nigel TD are the only ones showing a profit.

This offers a deeper look at bare stats. For example, on the face of it, Philip Hobbs has a poor record with not one winner to show for 17 runners. But a glance at the place column shows that 8 have reached the frame; he’s far from a poor judge of what it takes to go close here.

At the foot is a summary of the winners since 1997 and I’m grateful to my friend Chris Bagnall founder of Horseracebase for all the stats you see here.

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