Boylesports Irish Grand National Odds and Preview – Horse Racing Betting April 22

Bull could be on the charge at fairyhouse

You do have to question whether the battle for supremacy between Ireland’s top two National Hunt stables is detrimental to the sport as a whole.

Gordon Elliott, backed by the powerful Gigginstown operation, is responsible for 12 of the 30 entries for Easter Monday’s Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. Willie Mullins trains seven and they are carving up the big prizes between themselves. Their tussle for prize money also infringes on jump racing in the UK. Many of Cheltenham’s big races went to one or the other and both also had multiple entries in the Grand National at Aintree. Elliott, of course, trains Tiger Roll.

Several Irish Grand National winners have won at Aintree but none in the same year. Eight of this year’s Irish Grand National field ran in the big race on Merseyside but only three of those managed to finish the race. Among those who failed to complete were General Principle, the winner at Fairyhouse last year when he became Elliott’s first winner of the €270,000 marathon. UK-based trainers have been successful on numerous occasions and Jonjo O’Neill’s Minella Rocco and Tom Lacey’s Kimberlite Candy fly the Union Jack this year.

Irish Grand National Recent Winners

2002 The Bunny Boiler 8 09-09 Ross Geraghty Noel Meade
2003 Timbera 9 10-12 Jim Culloty Dessie Hughes
2004 Granit d’Estruval 10 10-00 Brian Harding Ferdy Murphy
2005 Numbersixvalverde 9 10-01 Ruby Walsh Martin Brassil
2006 Point Barrow 8 10-08 Philip Carberry Pat Hughes
2007 Butler’s Cabin 7 10-04 Tony McCoy Jonjo O’Neill
2008 Hear the Echo 7 10-00 Paddy Flood Mouse Morris
2009 Niche Market 8 10-05 Harry Skelton Bob Buckler
2010 Bluesea Cracker 8 10-04 Andrew McNamara James Motherway
2011 Organisedconfusion 6 09-13 Nina Carberry Arthur Moore
2012 Lion Na Bearnai 10 10-05 Andrew Thornton Thomas Gibney
2013 Liberty Counsel 10 09-05 Ben Dalton Dot Love
2014 Shutthefrontdoor 7 10-13 Barry Geraghty Jonjo O’Neill
2015 Thunder And Roses 7 10-06 Katie Walsh Sandra Hughes
2016 Rogue Angel 8 10-06 Ger Fox Mouse Morris
2017 Our Duke 7 11-04 Robbie Power Jessica Harrington
2018 General Principle 9 10-00 James Slevin Gordon Elliott

First run in 1870, the Boylesports Irish Grand National is the most prestigious and valuable handicap chase in Ireland. It is run over 3m 5f and boasts a guaranteed prize value of €270,000. Previous winners include the mighty Arkle, Flyingbolt, Brown Lad (the only horse to win the great race on three occasions) and flying grey Desert Orchid.

Irish Grand National Trends

  • 15 of the last 16 winners have carried no more than 10-13
  • 14 0f the last 16 winners were Irish-bred
  • All but one of the last 16 winners had raced within the previous eight weeks
  • All recent winners had won over at least 3m
  • 13 of the last 16 winners were aged nine or younger

The UK National Hunt season ends at Sandown next Saturday but Ireland is just warming up. After Fairyhouse, there is the Punchestown Festival next week which is almost as competitive as the equivalent at Cheltenham – no doubt the plans of Elliott and Mullins are already set in stone for that one.

Surprisingly it is not an Elliott or Mullins runner which has attracted most ante-post money. Any Second Now is in the care of Ted Walsh, who has trained the winner in the past. The seven-year-old, one of five who runs in the JP McManus colours, won the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir at Cheltenham and is a best 10/1 with Betvictor.

However, at the odds, I’d rather take a chance on Enda Bolger’s AUVERGNAT. Female jockey Aine O’Connor looks to follow in the footsteps of Nina Carberry and Katie Walsh by winning this big race and her mount looks overpriced at 33/1 with Coral given he had Any Second Now behind when winning a Grade B handicap at Leopardstown in December, despite being regarded as a cross-country specialist.

An Elliott runner has to go on the short-list- but which one? Let’s take a chance on the six-year-old ROARING BULL at a general 33/1. After winning easily at Naas, Luke Dempsey’s mount ran a remarkable race behind A Plus Tard at Cheltenham considering he tried to uproot a few of the fences on the way round. He also make mistakes in the early stages behind Burrows Saint at Limerick last time but kept on well in the closing stages. He is 6lb better off with the winner, who is only a best 10/1, and shapes like a stayer but you are taking a chance on his jumping holding up.

Boylesports Irish Grand National Current Best Odds

Any Second Now, Burrows Saint and Pairofbrowneyes 10/1, Tout Est Permis 11/1, Jury Duty 12/1, Total Recall and Snugsborough Benny 16/1, C’Est Jersey, Gun Digger, Measureofmydreams, Whisperinthebreeze and Shady Operator 20/1, General Principle, Isleofhopendreams, Dounikos and Shattered Love 25/1, Out Sam 28/1, Acapella Bourgeois, Auvergnat, Bellow Mome, Minella Rocco, Woods Well and Roaring Bull 33/1, Forever Gold and Kimberlite Candy 40/1, A Toi Phil, Arkwrisht and Monbeg Notorious 50/1, Blow By Blow and Valseur Lido 66/1

(Odds correct at 3.00pm April 21)


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