A man who has spent his entire career in racing, Michael “Mouse” Morris had success at the very highest level during that time. A winner of the Grand National, Irish Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup as a trainer, this is undoubtedly where he made his mark.
However, as a younger man, he began racing as an amateur jockey before progressing to the professional ranks. His riding career was cut short due to injury, but that didn’t take away his love for the sport of racing; turning to training shortly after that fall.
From his first Grand National runner as a trainer in 1984, he’s been trying to win one of racing’s biggest prizes. He came close in 1993 when Cahervillahow finished second under Charlie Swan and finally broke his duck in 2016. On that day, Rule The World won the contest, ridden by David Mullins, a 33/1 outsider but one that recorded an impressive winning distance of eight lengths.
Michael “Mouse” Morris Grand National Wins
- 2016 - Rule The World ridden by David Mullins
First Grand National Winner
It was with his 22nd runner in the race, 32 years after his first, that Mouse Morris finally won the Grand National. Rule The World was not fancied by too many people but was the horse to stay on best of them all in very testing conditions to bring home the prize.
One of the joint-favourites, The Last Samurai, challenged Rule The World as they approached the closing stages, but as soon as this happened, Rule The World dug deep and found more, coming away to win the race in a pretty comfortable fashion.
First Lieutenant was another runner in the 2016 race for Mouse Morris but could only get as far as the second fence, where he was a faller. From that moment, his eyes were on Rule The World only, and despite him being an outsider in the contest, he firmly stayed on and powered his way to victory for the yard.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Success With War Of Attrition
Away from the Grand National, if there is one horse that will be associated with Mouse Morris, then it will undoubtedly be War Of Attrition. The star chaser won the centrepiece of the Cheltenham Festival, the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2006.
He also went on to win the Punchestown Gold Cup in the same year, rounding off an excellent time for the Morris team. Unfortunately, we didn’t really see the best of this horse after those runs due to injury problems, but he was the best chaser in training across the UK and Ireland for a brief period.
Early Career as a Jockey
Prior to being a trainer, Mouse Morris was a jockey, firstly starting off as an amateur jockey and then becoming a professional after that. In 1974, while still classed as an amateur rider, he rode his first Cheltenham Festival winner aboard Mr Midland, giving Edward O’Grady his first Cheltenham Festival winner in the process.
A year later, in 1975, he turned professional with good success. In 1976 and 1977, Skymas won back to back Champion Chase’s at the Cheltenham Festival, with Morris on board for both of them. In 1977, he also won the Irish Grand National as a rider, a race he won twice as a trainer and one where he is always strongly represented.
Unfortunately, a fall ended the riding career of Morris prematurely, but he did stay in racing, quickly going into the training ranks after.
Famous Horses Trained by Michael Mouse Morris
Here are some of the bigger names trained by Michael Mouse Morris during his career.
Rule The World
War Of Attrition