Weekend of Disappointment for Cousin Vinny
Nothing is cast in stone when it comes to horse racing. As with any athlete, horses are also prone to injury, bad days and bad luck. This weekend proved the unpredictability of horse racing once again, as misfortune plagued trainer Willie Mullens at Leopardstown on Sunday, and left many fans and spectators speechless with disappointment. The Deloitte Novices’ Hurdle was one of the most anticipated races of the day, and yet it ended up being the most surprising, with situations no-one could have predicted.
Willie Mullens was looking forward to watching two of his best horses face off in the Deloitte Novices’ Hurdle at Leopardstown. Not only would he be able to see how they perform together, but both his horses were fingered as the favorites for the event. As the morning of race day broke, Mullens walked into his first upset for the day, as it was found that Hurricane Fly was lame and had to be withdrawn from the race. This left Cousin Vinny as the favorite in the four contender line-up.
The race soon saw Cousin Vinny, with Patrick Mullens as his jockey, and Paul Carberry on board Pandorama battling it out for first position. Separating themselves from the other contenders, Cousin Vinny and Pandorama cleared the last jump together. Unfortunately, Cousin Vinny was not comfortable with the fast speed he was ridden into the jump and stumbled as he landed, unseating his jockey and giving Pandorama the freedom to cruise to victory with a ten length lead. Mullens was reminded of his stroke of bad luck, as he was again run off his feet by Western Charmer, as he cleared the last jump to the home stretch. Willie Mullens watched the spectacle with surprise and optimism that the next race will go better for Cousin Vinny, commenting after the race: "Patrick set him alight going to the last, to get some experience of jumping fast before going to Cheltenham. He'd never jumped a hurdle that fast in his life."
The next stop for Cousin Vinny and Hurricane Fly will be Cheltenham. Hopefully both will have recovered from this unfortunate weekend, and reclaim the sparkle and success that everyone believes they will deliver.