A month on from landing his first Cheltenham Gold Cup with Al Boum Photo, Willie Mullins filled another void in his hugely successful career when Burrows Saint led home a 1-2-3 for his Closutton yard in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National.
Backed from 8-1 into 6-1 favourite, Burrows Saint scored by one and three-quarter lengths from Isleofhopendreams, who had lost out in a photo finish in the 2018 renewal, with Acapella Bourgeois five and a half lengths back in third.
And for good measure Mullins, who ran seven in the race, also supplied the fifth-placed Bellow Mome.
It was a third win in the race for Walsh, who was successful on Commanche Court in 2000 and on Numbersixvalverde in 2005 and although in the immediate aftermath of his triumph Mullins stated he thought Walsh might have opted for one of yard’s more experienced contenders, Walsh explained why he chose the winner.
Walsh said: "It's very simple. If horses have the experience they usually have too much weight. Burrows Saint is an improving novice and was running in a handicap for the first time. I thought 10st 8lb was a lovely weight and I knew he would jump and stay.
"He made a couple of novicey mistakes but overall his jumping was fine. When Any Second Now fell [at the eight fence] it left a big hole on the inside and my horse travelled really well from there.
"I’m delighted to have ridden Willie’s first Irish National winner. He gave me a job when I was 16 and I’m 39 now. That’s a long time not to have fallen out with someone!"
And Burrows Saint, who was winning over fences for the third time on his sixth chase start, might not be finished for the season.
Mullins said: "A lot of our horses have had a light campaign because of the ground situation for most of the season and I’m not ruling any of the horses who ran in the National out of Punchestown at this stage. We’ll wait and see how they are.
"It was Burrows Saint's third win in just over six weeks and that says a lot about him and the future he might have. It was only his fourth run over fences for us but he did run in two chases in France.
"It was a pity that two of ours – Pairofbrowneyes and C'est Jersey – fell early on and Total Recall was eventually pulled up, but in addition to the first two both Acapella Bourgeois and Bellow Mome performed very well."
"Until today the Irish National had been an unlucky race for us. My father trained four winners of the race many years ago and it means a lot to have cracked it after years of trying."
David Mullins, who rode Bellow Mome, said: "He ran very well. Total Recall was jumping to the left out in front and my fellow followed him. I left him out wide. He could be a horse for the Galway Plate."
Roaring Bull, who finished sixth, fared best of Gordon Elliott's 12-strong team while the two British-trained challengers, Minella Rocco and Kimberlite Candy, were both pulled up. Of the 30 starters, 12 completed the course.