Joe Mulhall

Joe Mulhall
Joe Mulhall
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JOE Mulhall, who has died aged 80, had racing stables on Tadcaster Road in York, and trained horses on the Knavesmire.

From the 60s through to the late 90s, he had a number of successes, most notably with the sprinter Negative Response which won at Epsom.

First Phase, Anton Lad, Lindiana and Riley’s Fair, which was given him by fellow trainer Ernie Davey of Malton, also prospered. Riley’s Fair was a seven-times winner.

Other notable horses trained by Mr Mulhall were Nashita, 
Bella Nova, Tremblay and Peter Culter.

As a child growing up on the small holding owned by his father Charlie at Malahide, outside Dublin, he rode anything large enough to bear his weight – large dogs and pigs being most readily to hand – throwing an old bicycle tyre across their backs to use as stirrups.

When he left school at 14, he became an apprentice jockey to no one’s surprise. Charlie Rogers whose stables were at Maddenstown in County Kildare, took him on.

He was there for an initial five years, and although offered another two years, decided it was time to move on. His next employer was also in County Kildare, but after a couple of years he was warned off, and Mr Mulhall, now looking further afield, found employment with Tommy Dent in York.

While racing at Thirsk in 1955, he met race goer Anne Monahan at the rails, asked her out and two years later they were married in St Wilfred’s, York.

He liked jumping, and being light enough for the Flat, he had moderate success under both rules.

His racing career, however, came to an end in 1961 when he came off a horse during a chase over the fences at Wetherby, and broke his pelvis in a couple of places. He was 28.

He was stoic when advised not to race again, and proceeded to get his licence to be a trainer, purchasing stables and yard from York Racecourse on the other side of Tadcaster Road from the Knavesmire.

It was on there he trained his horses – not ideal but Mr Mulhall was not a man to complain. Whatever life presented him with, he dealt with it.

He continued to train until he was 70, and in retirement he went to races, and especially point-to-points to support his elder son Clive, an amateur rider who is now a trainer near Wetherby.

He had played golf before leaving Ireland, and continued when he came to York. He played at Easingwold where his handicap fell to seven and he won a number of trophies.

Mr Mulhall, cheerful no matter what, companionable and with the easy facility to make people laugh, is survived by his wife Anne, their sons Clive and Aubrey, six grandchildren and a great-grandson.

His funeral will take place on Thursday, June 27, at 11am at York Crematorium.