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Willie Mullins reflects on a Matheson Hurdle classic as Sharjah fights back to make Leopardstown history

It was fine week for Willie Mullins at Leopardstown.

Champion horse trainer Willie Mullins hailed a brilliant week for he and his team, as Sharjah claimed the Matheson Hurdle for a record-breaking fourth year on the spin.

Sharjah has now become the first to win four Matheson Hurdles on the spin at the Dublin 18 venue, and joins greats Hurricane Fly and Instabraq, but neither of those two could win four of those in a row.

Sharjah Willie Mullins Leopardstown

It was a fitting way for Mullins’ yard to conclude their festival, a festival that played out in front of severely restricted capacities over its four days.

Willie Mullins reflects on a record-breaking success for Sharjah at Leopardstown.

“That was not good for the heart!,” Mullins told RTE after Sharjah won a record-breaking fourth Matheson Hurdle in a row.

“Patrick said he wasn’t as sharp as other years and then with the last hurdle missing, he got pushed out onto yesterday’s ground and that just blunted his speed in the last furlong.

“He managed to do it anyhow and it was a terrific race. He definitely wasn’t as sharp as other years, but when you win a race four years running, you can’t expect a horse to be improving.

“He’s been a spectacular horse – fantastic for Patrick and Rich and Susannah (Ricci, owners). I think Rich likes Patrick riding him and he’s a special horse for that partnership.”

Sharjah reigns supreme at Leopardstown.

Mullins’ win at the South Dublin venue rounded off his fine showing at Leopardstown this Christmas, as his love-affair with the course continued.

And it was only late on when the Mullins-trained horse nudged in front, having found itself in fourth spot at the last turn.

But Sharjah rallied at the death to secure a stunning success, and making history in the process, winning the title for the fourth year in a row.

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