€500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National attracts 124 entries
BoyleSports Irish Grand National
A total of 124 horses, an increase of 34 on last year, have been entered for the €500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday, April 17th.
Now the most valuable National Hunt race in Ireland, the entries for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National are dominated by Gordon Elliott. In all, the season’s leading trainer has entered 28 horses in the race, by far the most of any trainer and he is responsible for the early top-weight Outlander.
A top contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Outlander has been handed 11st 10lbs while his stable companions Empire Of Dirt and Don Poli are next on the list with 11st 8bs and 11st 7lbs respectively. All three horses are owned by Gigginstown House Stud who have won the race for the past two years. Elliott has also entered last year’s runner-up Bless The Wings, who has been given 9st 11lbs.
Top Trainer Tussle
The BoyleSports Irish Grand National will go a long way towards deciding the outcome of this season’s champion National Hunt trainer. Elliott has yet to win the race and the same can be said of the current champion trainer, Willie Mullins, who has made 14 entries, headed by Alelchi Inois on 11st 5lbs.
His leading novice chaser Bellshill has been given 10st 9lbs. Mullins has also entered his recent Fairyhouse winner Pleasant Company on 10st 8lbs. Pleasant Company beat 2015 BoyleSports Irish Grand National winner Thunder And Roses to win the Grade 3 At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at the course at the end of last month.
Eight of the first ten horses home in last year’s BoyleSports Irish Grand National have been entered again with the Mouse Morris-trained winner, Rogue Angel, set to carry 10st 1lb this time.
Morris has made five entries including Alpha Des Obeaux on 10st 7lbs and Thunder And Roses, the winner of the race two years ago, on 10st 6lbs. Folsom Blue finished fourth for Morris in 2016 and has been allotted 9st 6lbs at this early stage after his success at Navan on Saturday. The Grade 1 winning novice chaser Our Duke, trained by Jessica Harrington, is a notable entry and is set to carry 10st 13lbs while another top novice chaser, Joseph O’Brien’s Edwulf is on 10st 12lbs.
Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said, “We are delighted with the quality and the strength in depth of the entries for the 2017 BoyleSports Irish Grand National which is worth a record €500,000 this year. The 124 entries is a modern day record and with 24 British-trained entries, it should be a very competitive renewal of this very historic race.
We are delighted to be sponsoring Ireland’s richest steeplechase, with an increased prize pot of a record €500,000 we are looking forward to the prestigious race steeped in history at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday.
With the significant increase in prize-money, we are delighted to see so many overseas entrants for the race in what is looking set to be the best ever BoyleSports Irish Grand National.