Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Horse Racing Tips: Paddy Pundits’ Epic Irish Grand National Cheat Sheet

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The Willie Mullins juggernaut rolls into town on Monday for the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.

Having won 10 races at Cheltenham 2024 over the four days and rattled past the 100 Festival winners’ milestone, the Closutton trainer now fancies snaffling a cool €250k in Ireland’s richest jumps race after his I Am Maximus clinched the 2023 title.

If you were watching closely then you’d have seen Paddy’s pundits more than held their own at Cheltenham tipping 35 winners between them and we’ve called on the services again of Mick Fitzgerald, Matt Chapman, Rory Delargy, Ruby Walsh, Paul Jacobs, Timeform and our Paddy Power trader to steer you through the race and hopefully land on the winner.

Simply scroll down for their expert picks in the Irish Grand National Cheat Sheet.

YEAH MAN is massively up in the weights on a mark of 140 so this won’t be easy. That said, he goes in mud and was really impressive in denying the consistent My Silver Lining at Haydock last time. He should have an each-way chance for Gavin Cromwell and Keith Donoghue so he’s getting my vote.


There’s a couple of Gordon Elliott horses that have caught my eye. Dunboyne will go off at a huge price and then I think Favori De Champdou at double figures also will have a good chance. FAVORI DE CHAMPDOU will be a lot happier going back right-handed here and he goes from the front or close to it. A sound jumping front runner is what you want more than a well handicapped horse in this race so I’m siding with him.

Favourite Nick Rockett is obviously worthy of respect with his yard, however, if we are really going to go out on a value play limb then Jon Sweeney’s charge, CHURCHSTONE WARRIOR, could well fit the bill. It’s obviously taking a chance, as he could make an early mistake and blow up but equally he has the back class and engine to cause a minor surprise as well.

NICK ROCKETT won both starts over hurdles last season, including a Grade 2 novice at this meeting, and he has made an encouraging start to his chasing career, showing run-by-run improvement on Timeform’s figures. He had to settle for second behind American Mike in a Grade 2 at Navan last time but that looks like a smart piece of form backed up by a decent time and he remains open to further progress in this sphere. He could prove well treated off a mark of 146 on his handicap debut.

Local trainer Tom Gibney won the Irish Grand National in 2012 with Lion na Bearnai and has a good chance with the lightly-raced INTENSE RAFFLES. His first run over 2m 6f at this venue when arriving from France saw him run out a decent winner when he was well backed in the early prices before drifting on the show. He won by 43 lengths then from Brampton Belle over 3m 1f on his next start and only has to step up a few more furlongs for the Irish Grand National trip of 3m 5f now. He looks to have been laid out for this and off a mark of 140 can go very close. Nick Rockett has shortened up in the betting and could be a Grade 1 horse in a handicap but is a little short in the market for me now for the all-conquering Willie Mullins’ yard.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.


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