Irish Grand National

She’s Got Grit And Determination To Win BoyleSports IGN

Backers find themselves in the exciting position of having two Grand Nationals to punt on during the next week – the first of which is the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday (5.00).

Money For McCoy

There has already been plenty of ante-post activity, with Paul Webber’s British raider, Cantlow, the subject of a big gamble in recent days following the booking of Tony McCoy. As such, Cantlow is now 9/1 favourite, but with form figures of 00066P, this 10yo will need to step up considerably.

Eighth in last year’s Irish National (beaten 14l), he will be a stone lighter this time around and looks to have been laid out for Monday.

Cantlow’s official rating of 136 is also ideal based on past renewals of the race…

Trends Summary
Of the last 10 National winners…

10 were 6-10yo’s
10 ran during the last 16-90 days
9 carried 10st8lb or less
9 were officially rated 125-136
9 were non-favourites
9 were Irish-bred
9 had two or more runs in a handicap chase
9 made the top eight last time
7 ran at Cheltenham or Navan last time
Females were 2-17 at 12% (3 others placed) – males were 3%

Surely the McCoy factor has taken all the value out of Cantlow’s price, however, meaning there are juicy odds elsewhere, including Colm Murphy’s, Empire Of Dirt (14/1). This novice chaser arrives in good form having won a handicap at Naas 43 days ago (2m4f, soft/heavy) where Champagne James (14/1) was 1l back in second.

James To Reverse Form?
Empire Of Dirt will go into the unknown over this trip, although there is stamina in his breeding, while Champagne James will have a 2lb turnaround in the weights, and has long shaped like this sort of test would suit. Indeed, Champagne James was seen making late ground at Cheltenham over 3m2f last month when on ground too fast, but Monday’s conditions will suit.

Another who should relish conditions from the right end of the weights is Tammys Hill, a 3m1f hunter chase winner who was last seen keeping on into fifth at Navan in December. While an absence of 121 days isn’t ideal, it’s possible he has been kept fresh for this.

First Irish National For Mullins?
As for those in the top half of the handicap, then Willie Mullins’, Perfect Gentleman (12/1), will look to give his trainer a first winner in the race having been bang there until before being headed at the last over 4m at Cheltenham last month (good to soft). This drop back to 3m5f could prove ideal.

Grand Jesture (4/1) also ran a good trial at Cheltenham last month when staying on into second behind The Druids Nephew over 3m1f (good to soft). Henry De Bromhead’s 7yo is only 1lb higher, but a weight of 11st could prove tricky.

Each-Way Amigos
Tom Dreaper’s, Los Amigos (12/1), comes here following some excellent efforts in top handicaps this winter, including a 6l second in the Thyestes Chase (3m1f, soft), prior to a 3l third in the Leinster National (3m, soft). This 8yo got compensation next time over 2m5f here at Fairyhouse 65 days ago, and has a solid profile for each-way backers.

Recommended Bets

Plenty in with chances, but with females boasting a superior strike-rate to males in this race, the 10yo, She’s Got Grit, represents excellent each-way value at 33/1 having won a valuable handicap when last seen 37 days ago. This tough mare has a flyweight and should handle conditions.