TOP AMATEUR jockey Patrick Mullins has revealed he could turn pro in order to ride at the Cheltenham Festival.
It comes as authorities confirmed amateurs were BANNED from the Festival due to government restrictions on grassroots sports.
But the Irish ace – son of trainer Willie and with four Festival winners to his name – could miss the likes of Champion Bumper favourite Kilcruit and Champion Hurdle hope Sharjah if not making the switch.
Mullins, 31, said: “It’s very, very disappointing news, but at the same time it wasn’t unexpected.”
After the ban was announced, fellow star amateurs Jamie Codd and Derek O’Connor have already ruled out turning professional.
But with the likes of Melon in the Ryanair, Foxhunters’ favourite Billaway and other top spares from his dad also on the table, Mullins admits he is tempted.
He said: “It’s something I might have to consider, I don’t know at the moment. But I suppose when you look at my rides, a lot of very good ones, it’s something I’ll have to consider.
“There’s some serious thinking to be done.
“It’s only three weeks until Cheltenham and we’ll have to give it some serious thought.”
Patrick – 12 times top amateur back home in Ireland – will head to Cheltenham even if he’s unable to ride.
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As assistant to his dad there will be plenty of work to do regardless.
He added: “Hopefully we can get back to normal for Aintree, that’s the other hope. There are far worse things happening in the world at the moment.
“However, if I can’t ride at Cheltenham I’ll probably be there helping out with the horses anyway.”
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