Patrick Mullins equalled Ted Walsh’s record of 545 winners as an amateur with a hard-fought success on Irish Lass at Limerick.
Mullins had to work hard to get the 4-9 favourite past the post first in the Book Online At www.limerickraces.ie Mares Maiden Hurdle, after quite a dramatic finish.
Settled behind the leaders, she came through to lead before the second-last, but almost ran out at that flight, hampering Gambling Mistress in the process.
Having lost the lead at that crucial point, the Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old rallied gamely on the run-in to snatch the verdict by a short head from Harrys Gift.
“She did well to win considering she all but refused the second-last, which was just greenness as it was her third lifetime run,” said the winning rider.
“She also made a mistake at the last and with the two mistakes she did well to win.
“I think she’s a very good mare and I think she’ll get black type over hurdles and could possibly go Galway now, although we might do a little schooling with her at home first!”
He added: “Her dam (Screaming Witness) was my first ride on a racetrack (at Thurles, December 2005), so it’s a nice bit of symmetry today and I also had my first career winner here in June, 2006.
“It’s nice to equal the record.”
Mullins will have to wait to break the record after the well-backed Dolly Dancer could finish only fourth in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ INH Flat Race.
Sent off the 11-8 favourite, Dolly Dancer hit the front in the straight but her bid was short-lived as Run For Mary (12-1) made a winning debut for trainer Charles Byrnes.
Mullins has one chance at the record on Sunday when he rides Queens Boulevard for his father in the Blind Tiger Flat Race at Sligo.