Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Irish Grand National Tips: 16/1 shot could win the Fairyhouse showpiece

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The Irish Grand National is the showpiece on the third day of the Fairyhouse Easter Festival in Co Meath on Easter Monday.

Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Gavin Cromwell all send strong teams to the race and unsurprisingly, the Willie Mullins-trained Nick Rockett is the market favourite. 

However, I fancy one of Gordon Elliott’s outsiders to run a big race at 5pm. FAVORI DE CHAMPDOU (16/1) looks an intriguing runner but you have to flick back a few pages in his form book to fancy him. He’s run two shockers recently but was hugely impressive in winning the Florida Pearl in Punchestown before Christmas. He stamped his authority on that race and beat Sandor Clegane by a whopping 14 lengths on soft to heavy ground at Punchestown. Sandor Clegane was only ten lengths behind Fact To File in the Brown Advisory at Cheltenham last month. That’s strong form and if reproducing that Punchestown form now in a handicap of a mark of 145, Favori De Champdou could be a big player, especially with the talented jockey Danny Gilligan taking five pounds off his back. WHERE’S FRANKIE (12/1) is also worth an eachway bet with loads of winning course form at Fairyhouse and a handy low weight. 

Elsewhere on the card, EASTERN LEGEND (25/1) may be the outsider of a small field in the Grade 2 juvenile hurdle at 2.40pm but he’s not without hope. Eachway markets will pay out on three places in this and that’s good enough for me given the fact this horse was rated 95 on the flat and is being thrown into a Grade 2 contest for his hurdles debut. He actually previously traded blows with Bottler’secret on the flat and must be schooling well at home for Jim Bolger for him to be pitched up in this. Hopefully he takes to it well and runs into the frame.

I’m willing to take a chance on APPRECIATE IT (3/1) in the 4.20pm race even though Paul Townend has chosen to ride Saint Sam instead. Appreciate It splits Fastorslow and Galopin Des Champs over this distance at Punchestown late last year and while he has flattered to deceive in a number of races, he has put in some decent runs of late. He couldn’t live with Allaho and Stattler over 2M 4F last time out but wasn’t disgraced totally in defeat. This is probably his best trip over fences and he doesn’t want the ground any softer. He has the ability to win this so hopefully this is a going day.

REDEMPTION DAY (3/1) is worth a crack in the last race. He was second in a Champion Bumper in Cheltenham a couple of seasons ago and is dropping in grade here. His second behind Jalon D’Oudaries late last year reads well now with that rival finishing third in this season’s Cheltenham Champion Bumper. A few of the rest of these are unknown quantities but could be very talented, not least Redemption Day’s stablemate Coco Masterpiece who Patrick Mullins has elected to ride from his father’s trio.

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