Irish Grand National – Fairyhouse, Easter Monday
The highlight of the Fairyhouse Easter weekend card is the Irish Grand National. Dessert Orchid, Commanche Court and Numbersixvalverde are just some of the notable past winners which the National field will be hoping to join. Trends of the last ten years very much indicate young up and coming chasers are the way to go. Commanche Court was the last horse to carry more than eleven stone when winning back in 2000. That being said, this year’s race doesn’t look as high class as previous years so those to the fore in the weights may fare better than usual. Seven and eight year olds have dominated over the last number of years with the odd older horse tasting victory. It’s worth nothing however, that Organisedconfussion was six when winning last year’s renewal. This was the first six-year-old winner since 1985. The last ten winners were all trained by different trainers which doesn’t exactly help our cause but, we are confident of getting a bold run for our money.
Those that take the eye in a competitive heat include Quiscover Fontaine, Alle Garde, Catch Me, Prince Erik and Some Target. Willie Mullins is mob-handed and must be a short price to take this with one of his runners. Of his, Quiscover Fontaine, Alle Garde and Some Target are interesting. Catch Me is not certain to line-up, but he was an eye catcher at Cheltenham when running a cracker in the Pertemps. Prince Erik was fancied in this race last year by many, including myself, before disappointing and on that basis alone he is of a small interest.
Your two markets leaders are six-year-olds an given their record in this race, on that basis alone, I’m willing to take them on. Prince Erik I’m probably going to leave too. Dermot Weld is not considered a trainer to land massive plots or gambles and with this the case Prince Erik is overlooked. He just seems to be out of sorts the last couple of months. Some Target is a big price considering some of his form, but proper soft ground seems to serve him best. He may not get it Easter Monday. Catch Me was a big eye catcher at Cheltenham, but is now ten-years-old and won’t be as progressive as others.
I don’t think Willie Mullins has yet to win the Irish National, but he has a good chance this year. Quiscover Fontaine seems to have been campaigned with this race in mind after last season’s fourth. He must have a chance considering this looks a weaker race and only being a pound higher than last year.
Alle Garde let me down at Cheltenham when falling last time out, but it’s too early to right him off. Novices have a good record in this race and considering he jumps well he’s another Mullins horse with a chance. Heavy ground for him would be a negative, however.
1pt win Alle Garde @ 10-1 and
1pt each-way Quiscover Fontaine @ 12-1