Irish Grand National Preview
The highlight of the Fairyhouse Easter card is the Irish Grand National, the last of the marathon chasing events. Dessert Orchid, Commanche Court and Numbersixvalverde are just some of the notable past winners, which today’s 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 ten stone when winning back in 2000. Seven and eight year olds have dominated over the last number of years with the odd older horse tasting victory. 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.
A number of the remaining 51 horses in are obviously not sure to run. Current top weight, Synchronised, is likely to be a non-runner with ground conditions riding very quick at the moment. This means the weights may go up but, hopefully it doesn’t affect our selection.
The Gordon Elliot trained Beautiful Sound is currently your 6-1 market leader and it looks as if the Michael O’Leary owned gelding will go off favourite. Third in one of the weakest races at the Cheltenham festival, he could be one to get after even though he seems to have strong claims. For me Sunnyhillboy, Prince Erik, Some Target and one at a big price, Golden Kite, are the ones to concentrate on. The likely quick ground will not bother any of the above too much, whereas the majority of the field may be inconvenienced by the faster going.
The J.P McManus owned Sunnyhillboy was well touted for one of the big Cheltenham handicaps before coming to grief at the seventh fence. He still looks to be nicely treated and there is every chance Tony McCoy will take the ride. The trip is the only concern.
Prince Erik would be another jewel in the crown of flat racing supremo, Dermot Weld, if he were to win. Weld won this race back in 1988 so certainly knows what it takes to win the event. He brought his mount along slowly all year but, there is a slight suspicion he isn’t good enough in the jumping department.