Willie Mullins vs Gordon Elliott – who’s better?

Willie Mullins vs Gordon Elliott – who’s better?

Sports are defined by classic duels, there’s no doubt about it. Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston, Celtic and Rangers’ passion-fuelled rivalry and the history-driven Ashes test series are a few of many. One has been simmering in the National Hunt sphere and it’s finally reaching a thrilling max: Willie Mullins vs Gordon Elliott.

The rivalry kicked into gear just before the 2016/17 season was getting into full swing. A row over training fees led to Michael O’Leary pulling all of his Gigginstown-owned string out of Mullins’ yard, many of his star horses went across the country to Elliott. It was a brutal blow for Mullins, but in turn it created a pulsating duel with two trainers fighting to be the big boy in Ireland. The two dominant forces have split the racing community lines on who is the better trainer. Even the answer isn’t simple: Willie Mullins is the better of the two – for now.

The Closutton-based handler has been the leader of the hegemony ever since his most loyal servant, Rich Ricci, started to really get involved in the game. And while the fight isn’t one-sided anymore for the Irish Champion Trainers’ Crown and his status over Elliott, team Mullins digs in to keep the record intact.

Since the turn of the decade, the records have been tumbling courtesy of Mullins. He mastered the training career of the immortal Hurricane Fly, whom under his guise, became the first horse to regain his Champion Hurdle crown since Comedy of Errors in 1975 and with 22 Grade One victories to his name, the winning-most horse ever at the top level.

It’s a testament to Mullins that he was able to keep ‘The Fly’ at his A-game for so many seasons, and the training brilliance didn’t stop there either. Quevega’s six wins in the Mares’ Hurdle, Vautour’s willingness to peak as a champion on the very big occasion, Douvan’s pulverisation of fields and Faugheen the Machine’s brutal dominance headline a list of many achievements.

What is even more astounding being his ability to train top-level winners in times of strife. Gigginstown’s removal of their string, Vautour’s cruelly-timed death and severe injuries to Faugheen and the side lined Douvan all led to questions of whether the Closutton yard would ever be the same again.

Willie Mullins At Cheltenham

But the yard stuck with their game, firing out championship horses every season and never giving up when it may be easier to. Heading to Punchestown in 2017, it was widely expected Elliott was to be crowned Champion Trainer for that season. Oh, how wrong was everyone. By the final day of the festival, Mullins was in the lead after a supreme week and clung onto his prized possession. The master had taught the apprentice a valuable lesson.

However, Elliott is on the tails of the Closutton yard, and it’ll take a very brave man to bet against him being Champion Trainer in the near future. Despite his 2007 Grand National victory with Silver Birch, his career is only beginning to blossom and with the might of Gigginstown behind him, his resume is seriously impressive.

Alongside Mullins, Elliott holds the record for most winners at a single Cheltenham Festival with eight in 2018. The year previous, he went one better than Mullins and finished as the top trainer at the meeting, and casting back to 2016 and the dominance by Don Cossack, Elliott lifted the most coveted prize, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which still alludes Mullins to this day.

Indeed, Willie Mullins is currently classed as the better trainer out of the duo. He’s done it all, walked the walk and talked the talk in spite of difficult circumstances. But, Elliott is catching him up and is a fantastic trainer in his own right. Racegoers will savour this clash of titans throughout the upcoming decade, and it’ll be no shock in spite of various tussles for titles over time, the crown will belong with Mullins on his pedestal before it transitions over to Elliot.

Free Bets & Offers

🚀 Bet £5 Get £20 in Free Bets!
first single & e/w bet only. odds of 1/1 or greater. 2 x £10 bet tokens. free bet stakes not included in returns. free bets are non withdrawable. no free bet expiry. eligibility restrictions. further t&cs apply. 18+. begambleaware.org
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for us upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
New Customers Get A £10 Surprise Free Bet Upon Their First Bet
Customers must be over 18, have a verified kwiff account and reside in the UK. Kwiff reserves the right to withdraw this offer if, in our judgement, the offer is being abused. Not all bets will be ‘“kwiffed” (supercharged) and any odds increases are subject to the regular terms and conditions; section kwiffed bets. Surprise Bet T&Cs: A Surprise Bet is a bet that is generated and placed by our algorithm, so could be on any sport or bet type, and will appear in the ‘My Bets’ section on your app. Surprise Bet winnings are paid out in cash, including the stake, and will not be subject to any wagering requirements. If the bet is cancelled, for example if the event is no longer scheduled to be played, the customer will receive a monetary reward equivalent. If the bet is voided (“pushed”), the customer will receive a monetary reward equivalent. Kwiff reserves the right to withdraw this offer if, in our judgement, the offer is being abused. Any decision made by kwiff with regards to this offer is final.
Claim Bonus
🏆 Get a RISK FREE bet on any sports market up to £20 - money back in CASH if it loses! 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is €/£20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £5 & Get £40 in Free Bets 🌟
New Customers Only. Deposit via credit/debit card and bet ¤5 @ odds 2.0+ within 7 days of registering; Cashed out bets excluded. Get 2x £10 free bets, valid for set types @ odds 2.0+ & a £20 casino bonus, wagered 40x to withdraw; Bonuses expire in 7 days; Geographic restrictions apply; T&C's Apply | 18+ | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly.
Claim Bonus
New customers only, bet up to £/€20 on the Exchange and if your first bet loses, we’ll refund you £/€20 in Cash. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. T&Cs apply. Best odds on certain markets for Premier League football, cricket, tennis, golf, horse racing and Greyhounds during specified timeframes. Prices compared against leading UK bookmakers and exclude enhanced prices and specials. Verification of ‘win bigger’ at promos.betfair.com
Claim Bonus
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets! 💥
New online customers only, min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 X£10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply
Claim Bonus
⚫️ £30 Welcome Offer! ⚫️
*New UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Full terms apply.
Claim Bonus
Bet £10 & get a £10 Welcome Bonus!
This offer is for new customers only and is available once per household. Max. Free Bet amount £10. The “Welcome Free Bet” may not be used in conjunction with any other bonus, promotion or offer. The “Welcome Free Bet” must be used at BetRegal.com within 14 days of being credited to your account. BetRegal.com reserves the right, at any time, to revoke any Welcome Free Bet bonus not used within the allotted time period. Full terms & Conditions apply. 18+
Claim Bonus
100% Deposit Bonus Up To £50
New customers only. Valid once per customer. Bonus expires after 30 days. Offer expires 31.08.19. 7x turnover at 1.6 minimum odds before withdrawal. Skrill deposits excluded. 18+ only. BeGambleAware.
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.