Girl Power At Fairyhouse – Weekend Review

Fairyhouse stole the headlines last weekend where a number of top class events provided racegoers with a real treat, including of course, the Boylesports Irish Grand National.

It wasn’t to be a fairytale finish for Tony McCoy in his last Irish National, but it was a fairytale result for Katie Walsh, who arrived late to get 20/1 shot, Thunder and Roses, up for Ms Sandra Hughes – in the process making it a memorable 1-2 for Gigginstown Stud.

This was some effort considering it was only the 7yo novice’s seventh outing over fences, and while Walsh is without a ride in Saturday’s National at Aintree, she may be called up late like she was 12 months ago.

Easter Monday’s result may also be an omen for First Lieutenant (25/1) at Aintree, as he is ridden by a certain, Miss Nina Carberry, – could it be two Nationals in the space of six days for the girls?

McCoy In Form For Aintree
No one got a better reception than Tony McCoy at Fairyhouse, though, who had already treated the crowd to a winner on Sir Scorpion in the handicap hurdle on Sunday, before getting the 7/1 chance, Gilgamboa, in front on the line. The retiring champ stated afterwards that Gilgamboa would be suited to a race like the Lexus next year, it’s just a shame McCoy will be merely a spectator in eight months time!

Bitofapuzzle won the Grade 1 Mares Novice Hurdle earlier on the Fairyhouse card, in the process making it a first Grade 1 win for trainer, Harry Fry. Although this victory came over 2m4f, Fry mentioned that she was a three-miler, and there has already been some punters nibbling her 20/1 price for next season’s RSA Chase.

National Fancies
But for many, it is this Saturday’s Grand National which takes centre stage for the next week, and where last month’s Grade 3 Cheltenham winner, The Druids Nephew (14/1), is reportedly in good form at home. Trainer Neil Mulholland mentioned prior to Cheltenham that The Druids Nephew was in the best form he’d ever had him, and that opinion remains the same ahead of Aintree.

Elsewhere, Ian Williams reports his Super Duty’s recent work, as “excellent” and that he couldn’t be happier with his condition. Having finished second and fourth at this meeting previously, he is one of the more interesting 50/1 shots.

As for the 7/1 favourite, Shutthefrontdoor, then his owner J P McManus stated at the weekend that this had been the plan all year with the horse, hence why he has had just the one outing. Trainer, Jonjo O’Neill, added that his absence since that sole outing in November won’t be a problem, as he is easy to get ready first time out, as when winning that day in November following a seven-month gap.

With jockey, Tony McCoy, also advertising his good form at Fairyhouse at the weekend, everything looks in place for a gamble come Saturday, as punters get behind the champ in his final National. The ground should be fine for Shutthefrontdoor too, as Aintree are set to water, and is currently good to soft.

Dermot Is Hot!
It was mentioned here last week the excellent form of Dermot Weld’s runners at present, and the trainer was again on the mark at Cork on Saturday, recording a treble from just five runners. Weld’s form figures since March 27 now read 1412110012201, and his runners should continue to go well.