Fourteen Gigginstown horses in this years Irish National, is it ridiculous? Some would say it is, some would say the trainers just have a job to do, who knows. However as for every national most betting firms will play at least 5 places therefore I will select five each way fancies….
My first selection is Fletchers Flyer for Harry Fry and Noel Fehily. As most people that follow my blog will probably already know that the Fry/Fehily combination is one of my favourites and this horse is another i’ll be getting involved with. He looks to of been aimed at this all season as he was at the biggest Punchestown Handicap last year. He was a decent third in a Grade 2 last time out at Ascot and with only two runs to his name this campaign he’ll be entering this a lot fresher than most. He currently trades at around 10/1 and I certainly believe he can be there or thereabouts.
Next up is Oscar Knight for Thomas Mullins and Mark Enright. Now this one is my real gamble as there’s nothing really in the form that suggests he should be getting close to winning this as he was beaten off a much lower hurdle mark last time out. However, there is one glimmer of hope in his form that I find really interesting, he was a very decent third to Noble Endeavour in a fairly big field at Leopardstown over Christmas which certainly puts him in the frame and suggests he’ll be able to hand this longer trip. A gamble indeed but might just make the frame. He currently trades at around 14/1.
My third selection is a horse that i’ve been following the progress of all season in Haymount for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. He’s turned into a considerably better chaser than he was a hurdler and has put in some real good performances throughout a busy campaign for the champion trainer. He finished third behind Tiger Roll over 4 miles at the Cheltenham Festival despite taking a really keen hold at the start. If Ruby can get him to settle he could be a serious contender to get Willie his first win in this race. He’s currently trading at 12/1.
Selection number four is a horse that finished second in this last year in Bless The Wings for Gordon Elliot. He was only beaten a short head in by Rogue Angel last year and is now amazingly only two pounds higher. He comes into the race off the back of a brilliant run when second in the Cross Country at the Cheltenham Festival and is also partnered up with probably my favourite young rider at the minute in Jack Kennedy. He certainly ticks a lot of boxes and just might go one better in this year’s renewal. You can find him trading at a general 16/1.
My final selection for this year’s Irish Grand National is Foxrock for Ted Walsh and Denis O’Regan. He comes into this on the back of some rich form with four victories in his four starts. He is only a pound higher than his last success in a handicap race and has been unlucky not to grab a Grade 1 in recent times. He’s raced very comfortably in hunter chases as of late and I imagine many would of had him near the top of the market at Aintree had connections chosen there instead of here. He certainly looks a threat off this mark if he handles the surface as he is known to enjoy a bit of give in the ground. He trades at a general 20/1.