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  1. #31
    Champ Kevloaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Nantwich, Cheshire
    Wouldn't mind seeing that full article - is it available to the general unwashed?

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevloaf View Post
    Wouldn't mind seeing that full article - is it available to the general unwashed?

    Pierre Boulard

    In the lead up to the Cheltenham Festival it is easy to suffer from data overload, and many important and interesting pieces of information can pass you by. A vital component of the Mullins Empire has had a certain amount of coverage in recent months, but I thought it worthwhile to take another look at the man responsible for horses such as Douvan, Vautour and Vroum Vroum Mag, if only so that we can then forget about the Closutton gang for a few weeks.

    Willie Mullins is undoubtedly an outstanding trainer. By all accounts he is a stickler for detail, leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of extracting the absolute max from his mighty equine team. He hails from a family horseman, following in the footsteps of father Paddy. But more and more these days, the key to success is the knack of finding the best talent, before moulding the raw material into the classy finished article.

    A crucial part of Team Mullins and their pursuit of suitable talent, comes in the form of French bloodstock expert Pierre Boulard. Along with fellow bloodstock agent Harold Kirk, he is part of the team that Mullins has come to rely on for uncovering elite racehorses.

    The master of Closutton spoke earlier this year of the pair, saying: “The best analogy is that they’re like a couple of football scouts. They keep an eye on the horses around and if there are any to be bought, they can go and have a look for me and weigh up the value on offer.”

    Mullins rode against Harold Kirk many moons ago and has great faith in his ability to spot a horse with potential. His man in France also has a distant link to the Mullins family. When Willie’s father Paddy travelled to France with the wonderful Dawn Run in the mid-80s, he met a young Boulard who was working in Maisons-Laffitte at the yard of Jacques-Hubert Barbe. One of a few that spoke fluent English, Boulard became a main point of contact for the Irish trainer.

    Mullins later invited him over to Ireland. Boulard said of the experience: “I stayed one year as pupil assistant, just learning as much as I could. It was an incredible time to be there. I remember flying with Tony from Cork the day Dawn Run won the Gold Cup. I watched them all – Willie, George, Tony, Tom. They were all horsemen. It was a dynasty, an incredible place.”

    Boulard’s impact on the current dynasty began in earnest in 2009 when Mikael D'Haguenet and Quevega struck gold at the Cheltenham Festival. “I knew Quevega was for sale and I mentioned it to Willie,” said the Frenchman. “He was very interested because he'd had her brother Monvega in Ireland and thought he was a very good horse but he had training problems. So we made a deal and that's how it started.”

    Boulard had previously enjoyed success with a number of clients including France's greatest jumps trainer Guillaume Macaire. He added: “Willie is a genius and the competition is so high there. There are a lot of very good trainers in England and although it looks easy, it's not.”

    He has now sourced the vast majority of French-bred stock within the yard. “We don't want a store because we don't know about the quality,” says Boulard. “But we don't want one who is too exposed. They just need to have shown me something special. When Djakadam ran at Compiegne I went ‘wow'! He could have won if the jockey hadn't been so easy on him. Douvan won second time in a very good way and Un De Sceaux won twice on the Flat in a nice, easy way. Vautour had two runs and did something even though he wasn't fully fit, Vroum Vroum Mag the same.”

    The first day of Cheltenham 2015 was incredible for Mullins but also for Pierre Boulard. Winning four Grade 1s and having the first three in the Champion Hurdle emphasized the quality of his work. He was also responsible for the arrival of Arctic Fire, and would have victories later in the Festival with Don Poli and Vautour.

    Min was another Boulard find having run third and a fourth at Auteuil, though neither effort screamed future star. The sire, Walk In The Park, was also a crucial factor in purchasing the horse, having already yielded the stunning Douvan. “Harold really believed in Walk In The Park when we bought Douvan and said go for it,” said Boulard. “I liked Min physically and the performances were good enough because Auteuil is the biggest test of stamina in France. It was important I liked him physically and then I add in the pedigree and his race. It was the three together.”

    Though Min came off second best, Douvan, Vroum Vroum and Vautour continued to advertise the skills of Boulard. His hunt for talent throughout the French Provinces looks sure to yield further stars in the coming years. He has no monopoly in the market place, and competition among bloodstock agents is tough. But that hasn’t stopped him thus far in aiding the development of a Jump racing superpower.

    Tags:*Douvan,*Harold Kirk,*Pierre Boulard,*Quevega,*Vautour,*Vroum Vroum Mag,*Willie Mullins
    Last edited by Scooby91; 09-14-2018 at 07:31 PM.

  3. #33
    Top Amateur SeanRock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Daphne Du Clos at a boosted 17.5/1 with Hills looks very enticing! I was going to hold fire until hearing a positive report from connections but I’m very tempted to have a nibble now.

  4. #34
    Top Amateur
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby91 View Post
    Archie have you been or heard anything of LAMARCKISE, by any chance shes been bought from the right race, and was very much ridden with her novice status in mind. But id be keen on her, However she could be even one for the year after,

    Guanabara is set to lose her novice status at the end of this season, so id have thought she'd be out for mullins this season, not the usual type as was running on the flat before.

    And still haven't seen holiday winner for sullivan she's had plenty of time to acclimatise.
    Sorry for the late response. Just back from Listowel.

    I've not heard anything about Lamarckise but I'd tend to think of Martalines as needing a bit of time and being better over further than 2m.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by archie View Post
    Sorry for the late response. Just back from Listowel.

    I've not heard anything about Lamarckise but I'd tend to think of Martalines as needing a bit of time and being better over further than 2m.
    No worries, thanks for the reply. I'm sure Mr J Coleman will have a lot of fun with her. I'm liking his purchases to date.

  6. #36
    Top Amateur
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    I know he's bought Klassical Dream, but out of interest what else has he bought?

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by jack1092 View Post
    I know he's bought Klassical Dream, but out of interest what else has he bought?
    Lamarckise ......

  8. #38
    Good read that Pierre Boulard piece. Thanks.

  9. #39
    Pat Fahy has already set his sights on a trip to the Cheltenham Festival in March with Awayinthewest following her triumph in the Deacy Gilligan Irish EBF Mares Hurdle at Galway.

    The six-year-old looked to be up against it with three runners hailing from Willie Mullins’ yard, including 6-4 favourite Calie Du Mesnil.

    However, Awayinthewest (5-1) proved half a length too good for another Mullins runner in Pleasure Dome, with Fahy identifying the Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, a race in which his charge finished sixth in 2017, as a long-range aim.

    He said: “She arrived in really great form and this proves how consistent she is.

    “There were a small numbers in the race and you have to go for those type of races. Any day you beat three of Willie’s is not a bad day I suppose!

    “I’m going to go for that (Grade Three) mares’ novice hurdle in Down Royal in November and then aim her back for the mares’ novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham in March, where her experience will help. That’s a little plan at the moment.”

  10. #40
    5lb Claimer
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Anyone know/heard of a mare called epatante? she's raced once in France guessing been bought since then and is in Ireland or England now, noticed just now she's listed on oddschecker for this race and has appeared to shortened in price

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