The mystery mastermind behind Noble Yeats' Grand National victory – from record fines to conquering the racing world
12th April 2022

HEAR the name Mullins and you'll probably think first of Willie.

If not the genius Irish trainer, then perhaps his son Patrick.

Or if you really know your racing then you could even go to Tony, last year's Ebor-winning trainer with Sonnyboyliston.

If you dip in and out of racing then there is a good chance that, up until last week, you probably had never even heard of Emmet Mullins.

But Willie's nephew has been thrust into the limelight after masterminding Noble Yeats' incredible 50-1 Grand National victory.

And one thing is for sure.

Emmet is quickly becoming the perfect man to find the perfect horse for the perfect race.

Let's go back to when Robert Waley-Cohen, winning jockey Sam's dad, bought Noble Yeats earlier this year.

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A shrewd judge, even he did not think the runner he bought for his son could win the £500,000 Aintree showpiece.

Noble Yeats was a 25-1 shot in February.

Waley-Cohen told the Racing Post then that the world's most famous race would be 'a year too early' for his new signing and that his hunch was that they would target it properly in 2023.


Under Emmet's expert training, Noble Yeats became the first seven-year-old since 1940 to win.


The man himself was surprised, admitting: "I never thought this would happen."

But Emmet has previous plotting a horse.

The Shunter won a £100,000 bonus – on top of £93,342 prize money – for landing the Morebattle Hurdle and Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase in 2021.

Victory at the Festival came less than two week after the big-money win at Kelso and, for Emmet, gave him another breathless moment.

He told the Racing Post: "I've only twice been short of breath in my life.

"Saturday was the second time it has happened to me and the only other time was when The Shunter won at Cheltenham last year.

"Training winners is a totally different experience to riding them. It is a totally different release altogether.

"I never thought this would happen. I still haven't told myself I have won the Grand National. It's unbelievable.


"I don't really know when it will all sink in. It could take you a lifetime to win a Grand National and I can't believe it's happened already."

Emmet, a 31-year-old ex-jockey, nearly pulled off another brilliant coup with Winter Fog in the Pertemps at last month's Cheltenham.

Campaigned quietly before the race and on a low weight, Winter Fog was a rapid finisher under jockey Paul Townend but could only manage fourth.

In truth, though victory there would have been sweet, it was merely a tester for National glory, a sign that his tactics employed at his yard in County Carlow, Ireland, were working perfectly.

Noble Yeats went under the radar more than any of his other winners, with bookies saying it was huge win from them and the Waley-Cohens.

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: "Noble Yeats was a good result for the books as he wasn't a horse that backers latched on to.

"Plenty of punters collected from the placed horses with Any Second Now, Delta Work, Fiddlerontheroof and Longhouse Poet all attracting plenty of support, but we are certainly not complaining."


There have been a few knocks along the way.

Emmet was hit with a record £5,000 fine in July 2020 for breaking non-trier rules.

Interestingly the horse who was the guilty party in that tale was The Shunter – a horse who won't go unnoticed again in future.

In fact, after winning the National, it's a safe bet that no Mullins horse will go unnoticed in future, be it Willie's, Tony's or Emmet's.


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