Min Completes Unprecedented Hat Trick In John Durkan Chase
Min (9g Walk In The Park - Phemyka, by Saint Estephe) showed he retained all of his incredible ability on Sunday, when becoming the first horse to win a third consecutive Grade 1 John Durkan Chase.
Last seen winning the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Willie Mullins’ charge was sent off favourite to make a triumphant return under Patrick Mullins. The nine-year-old made virtually all the running in heavy fog, reappearing through the gloom at the second last, where he was joined by stablemate Tornado Flyer (Flemensfirth). Battling back to regain the advantage at the final fence, he ran on strongly to score by a length in a 1-2-3 for the Mullins stable.
With visibility impaired, it was left to the winning rider to fill in the blanks; “He put in an exhibition of jumping, he was absolutely brilliant everywhere,” he said. “Chris's Dream was beside us most of the way, but from when we turned down the back he was making a half length or a length at every jump.”
The winning trainer was equally impressed, saying, “To win three John Durkans in a row is a terrific achievement and the fact that it was never done before shows how difficult it is to do.”
Bred by Madame Marie-Therese Mimouni, the son of Grange Stud sire Walk In The Park is now a seven-time Grade 1 winner over fences. His achievements add to the intrigue of his sire’s first Irish crop, who sold for up to €300,000 at the 2020 store sales.