It is one of the iconic sporting dates on the Irish sporting Calendar and this year’s Boylesports Irish Grand National takes place at Fairyhouse this Monday.
Gordon Elliott edged out his great rival Willie Mullins to win the race a year ago and the pair look to be assembling strong teams ahead of the latest renewal at Fairyhouse next Monday.
Elliott’s dual Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll will not be in the field but the local trainer could have as many as 14 runners lining up, including the 2018 hero General Principle, Dounikos, Jury Duty, Shattered Love and A Toi Phil
Willie Mullins has a team of nine going forward after the latest entry stage.
They include Isleofhopendreams, beaten just a head by General Principle last year, Pairofbrowneyes, Total Recall, Bellow Mome and the exciting novice Burrows Saint.
The Noel Meade-trained Tout Est Permis is the highest rated of those remaining. Ted Walsh’s Any Second Now stands his ground as do other leading ante-post fancies Discorama for trainer Paul Nolan and Liam Cusack’s Snugsborough Benny.
Third in the race a year ago, the Edward Cawley-trained Forever Gold could be on target for a repeat bid while Jessica Harrington has left in Whisperinthebreeze. Enda Bolger has Auvergnat still in the mix and Minella Rocco, another owned by JP McManus, could yet represent Jonjo O’Neill.
“We are delighted with the quality of entries still remaining in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National headed by the impressive Troytown Chase winner Tout Est Permis for local trainer Noel Meade,” said Fairyhouse General Manager Peter Roe.
“It is great to see last year’s winner General Principle still in the race along with impressive Fairyhouse winner Snugsborough Benny.
“The supporting card also features plenty of top-class entries with such horses as Samcro, Un Des Sceaux and Joseph O’Brien’s impressive Navan winner Darasso all entered up.”
Ryanair are the main sponsors of the Gold Cup on Sunday.