Willie Mullins expressed his delight after saddling the 3,000th winner of his career at Wexford on Wednesday evening.
The Closutton handler reached the personal milestone after Timi Roli carried the silks made famous by 22-times Grade One winner Hurricane Fly to glory in the World Cup Betting On The Brand New, Faster Than Ever BoyleSports App Hurdle.
Mullins, who sent out his first winner at Thurles in February 1988, told the Press Association Sport: “It’s a nice thing to do and I’d never have dreamt of doing anything like this when I started off.
“I’d hoped I would get a few winners on the board and get established and I’m very pleased to have come this far.
“We have known we have been close for a few days, but it’s still a nice surprise to achieve it.
“It was great for the horse of the Creightons to do it, as Hurricane Fly will always be a special horse to us in the yard.
“Hopefully Timi Roli can start to improve now, though I doubt he will ever be as good as Hurricane Fly!”
He added: “We have had a lot of people that have been with us a long time and it’s a huge team effort from our staff, as they keep the whole thing rolling the whole time, while the likes of Ruby Walsh has been with us on and off for 17 or 18 years.
“The owners haven given us the investment to make it all happen, so a huge thanks goes to them.
“We were delighted when Rich Ricci came into the yard to give us more spending power to go get some nice horses.
“We have also had a lot of success with the Supreme Horse Racing Club, Gigginstown House Stud, Graham Wylie and more recently Jared Sullivan and Simon Munir and Isaac Souede. We have a good broad spectrum of owners, which makes it a lot of fun.”
The current Irish National Hunt champion trainer picked out selected several horses and performances that stand out in particular among his current haul of winners.
He said: “As far as milestones with the horses go, Tourist Attraction would be one, as he was our first Cheltenham Festival winner, then after that we had the likes of Florida Pearl come along and Hurricane Fly.
“Annie Power was a special horse and Quevega will always have a big place in the memory bank.
“I think winning the Grand National with Hedgehunter for Trevor Hemmings is right up there as a special achievement and I suppose the other one would be Hurricane Fly winning the Champion Hurdle, as he was our first Champion Hurdle winner.”
While Mullins may have ticked a lot of boxes off on his glittering CV, there are still several he would like to achieve across both codes of the sport.
He said: “I would like to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, while I would also like to win an Ascot Gold Cup and a Melbourne Cup.
“They are all races I’d like to think we have a chance of winning, as we have got the horses to do it.
“They are reasonable targets that we might hopefully get to achieve.”