The BoyleSports Irish Grand National Should Not Be Held In Winter

The BoyleSports Irish Grand National belongs to one day and one day only, and that is Easter Monday.

After Horse Racing Ireland’s announcement to have it rescheduled this winter, I don’t see where it would fit in the calendar between October and December.

It’s not a race to fit in with another weekend. I’m not in agreement with it.

There are many other major handicap chases on those cards and many other major racing festivals on those weekends during those months.

Obviously, it was very disappointing last week to hear of the cancellation of the 150th BoyleSports Irish Grand National, and also Punchestown Festival.

But, considering the situation we’re in at the moment with the outbreak of COVID-19, it was the right decision.

Ever since 1990 when I went to watch Desert Orchid, I’ve attended every Irish Grand National, as a jockey or a spectator.

It’s disappointing to lose it this year, but let it go in 2021 and have the 150th running at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday next year.

I hope that Fairyhouse, as a racecourse, HRI and BoyleSports, as sponsors of the race, will all get their heads together and make the 2021 running a memorable one.