Four to Follow: Irish National special

Racing has been hooked on the actions happening at Fairyhouse this weekend, and it all comes to a climax when Easter Monday signals the return of the Irish Grand National. Legends like Fortria, Arkle, Desert Orchid and Bobbyjo have graced the winner’s enclosure of Ireland’s National race. Who will add their name to the roster today?


Spring Chickens

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2:40 – O’Driscoll’s Irish Whiskey Juvenile Hurdle (Grade Two) – Ndaawi @ 2/1 (General)

It’s not a race that throws up the next big thing in the juvenile division, but it’s a competitive race, nonetheless. Bottler’secret has only had the one run, with the form untested, which leads me to go down the more experienced route.

Usually, good performing losers of the Boodles at Cheltenham arrive here and Ndaawi is certainly one. He finished a good third to Lark In The Mornin and wasn’t disgraced finishing within three lengths of the winner whilst carrying the second-top weight. Now back on levels Ndaawi can show his class and make a possible claim for the juvenile race at Punchestown at the end of the month.


Devil’s In The Detail

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3:50 – Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hurdle (Grade Two) – Thedevilscoachman @ 5/2 (William Hill, BetVictor)

With the ground heavy, I can’t be having Zarak The Brave. He was underwhelming in the Champion Hurdle on heavy ground and has rarely acted on it. Meanwhile, Thedevilscoachman has been chasing, but has recently switched back to hurdling. He didn’t seem to handle the trip over three miles so stepping back to two-and-a-half will suit him better. Plus, his run behind Sir Gerhard was backed up yesterday and can see him back to winning ways.


Call The Priest

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4:20 – McInerney Properties Fairyhouse Chase (Grade Two) – Saint Sam @ Evs (General)

Back from an elongated break, Saint Sam pulled off an incredible win over fences, thrashing Riviere D’Etel by eight-and-a-half lengths. Looking at the field he’s up against today, I can envisage a similar dominant performance. Appreciate It missed the Festival and has never looked himself over fences. Fil Dor was extremely poor when stepped up in trip in the Ryanair and Journey With Me was disappointing on seasonal reappearance.


The Irish Grand National

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5:00 – Boylesports Irish Grand National (Grade Three) – Where It All Began @ 10/1 (General)

Where It All Began has been on my books since his win in the trial in February. His run in the Kim Muir may have seemed disappointing, but he was bumped at the second last and the 26 lengths is a bit of an exaggeration. His preference for heavy ground will help him massively and he looks well treated staying on the same mark as he was in the Kim Muir. This race looks to have been the plan for him all season.

Yeah Man has had a stellar season over in the UK. He beat My Silver Lining up at Haydock in the Grand National Trial on heavy ground but seems to be versatile as he was down three-quarters of a length to Vicctorino at Ascot on good ground. A seven-pound rise in the weights may seem steep, but he looks to be improving with every race. Solid shout at 9/1 (General).

Novices have a good record in recent years and Senior Chief has been on the improve over the bigger obstacles. He beat Duffle Coat by three-quarters of a length breaking his maiden last time out. But the form from his run in November has worked out a treat. Gaelic Warrior has won the Arkle and Inothewayurthinkin bolted up in the Kim Muir. With form like that he’s a great chance of finishing in the frame. 11/1 (BetUK).

Street Value has disappointed in recent runs, pulling up twice. However, he won the Porterstown over C&D back in December and as a result he’s only five pounds higher than that run. He’s a good record on heavy ground, despite his last two runs, and the Irish National has a tendency to throw up some big priced winners. Worth a shout at 33/1 (BetVictor).

The very best of luck!

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