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irish-grand-national-weights-2024-fairyhouseirish grand national weights 2024 fairyhouse

Irish Grand National Weights Set to Rise After Fairyhouse Feature Cuts Up

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Nick Rockett is favourite despite being fourth highest in the Irish Grand National weights

The Irish Grand National weights are guaranteed to increase by at least 6lb with less than half the initial entries left in this year’s race. Ireland’s premier staying handicap chase held at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday has just 26 runners remaining at the penultimate declaration stage.

Leading Irish owner JP McManus scratched all but one of his entries for the 3m 5f feature contest. The winner of the Irish Grand National receives €270,000 in prize money, but only Ted Walsh veteran Any Second Now (140) will carry the famous green and gold hoops.

Gordon Elliott is responsible for nine of the remaining runners. It is common for the Cullentra House handler and powerful backers Gigginstown House Stud to be mob-handed in the BoyleSports sponsored Irish Grand National.

Framing the handicap for those connections is Farouk D’Alene on a steeplechase mark of 153. He pulled up over hurdles in the Pertemps Final during the Cheltenham Festival. Topweight at Fairyhouse carries 11st 12lb, mirroring what happens at Aintree in the English equivalent.

Elliott and Gigginstown also have Favori De Champdou (145), Run Wild Fred (143) who was runner-up in this three years ago, Diol Ker (139), Frontal Assault (134), Cool Survivor (134) and Royal Thief (125). The yard could also run Dunboyne (137) and Irish Grand National Trial winner Where It All Began (132) for other owners.

Nick Rockett Favourite, Minella Cocooner Second in Irish Grand National Weights for Mullins

Ireland’s other major jumps trainer, Willie Mullins, has just three entries. Dual course winner Nick Rockett (146), who skipped Cheltenham heads the market on horse racing betting sites for the Irish Grand National at general odds of 4/1.

If Farouk D’Alene doesn’t run, then the job of framing the handicap falls to Minella Cocooner (148). In this eventuality, the Irish Grand National weights will rise 11lb, preventing many towards the bottom from running out of the handicap.

Much lower down the weights for Closutton maestro Mullins is We’llhavewan (123). He chased home Where It All Began in the official Grand National Trial in Ireland at Punchestown back in February.

Two Cromwell Contenders Talked Up

Gavin Cromwell enjoyed two winners at the Cheltenham Festival courtesy Inothewayurthinkin in the Kim Muir and Mares’ Chase heroine Limerick Lace, who is a full sister. Yeah Man (140) won Haydock’s official Grand National Trial in England last time out, having shaped as though longer trips would suit previously.

He is one of two contenders Cromwell is sweet on from his stable. The other is Leinster National hero Hartur D’Arc (137) with a 9lb higher mark than his Naas victory. After winning his last two, it’s fair to say this runner is improving.

Henry De Bromhead relies solely on Senior Chief (141) and he’s the likely mount of Rachael Blackmore as a result. The Irish Grand National is set to be run on testing heavy ground with the three-day Eater Festival beginning on Saturday, 30 March.

With the Fairyhouse feature taking place on the third and final day of the meeting, ground staff have a real challenge to preserve fresh ground. Some races throughout the Easter Festival will be on the inner course, but the Irish Grand National must go on the outer track and take the fences up at Ballyhack.

Intense Raffles & Desertmore House Prominent for Smaller Stables

Thomas Gibney has saddled Intense Raffles (140) to consecutive wins since his purchase from France. This novice represents influential owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede. We’ll find out how Intense Raffles gets on in a larger field after landing four and six-runner races.

Kerry National hero Desertmore House (144) hasn’t struck again since Harvest Festival triumph at Listowel in the autumn. He is also prominent in the Irish Grand National market on leading betting sites for trainer Martin Brassil, however.

Lower down the handicap, Good Time Jonny (132) won last year’s Pertemps Final for shrewd handler Tony Martin. He has yet to win a race over fences, but novices and indeed maidens are no strangers to success in the Irish Grand National.

Apart from Kim Muir fifth Daily Present (127), any names not mentioned are 25/1 and bigger for the Fairyhouse Grade 3 on Easter Monday, 1 April. For some, the revised Irish Grand National weights suggest a below par renewal, but this is a valuable prize.

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Jamie Clark

Cromwell Eclipsing Elliott as Staying Handicap Star

Irish Grand National trial winner Where It All Began must have another big race in him for the mob-handed Elliott. It’s just a case of whether Easter and Fairyhouse comes too soon after that subsequent race at Cheltenham.

Gavin Cromwell has won plenty of staying handicap chases this season, so his duo Hartur D’Arc and Yeah Man have to be on any tipster’s shortlist. I’m not so sure about the favourite, Nick Rockett, but the De Bromhead runner Senior Chief will like the ground.

Irish Grand National Weights & Runners from Penultimate Declarations

  1. Farouk D’Alene (153) – 11st 12lb
  2. Minella Cocooner (148) – 11st 7lb
  3. Churchstonewarrior (147) – 11st 6lb
  4. Nick Rockett (146) – 11st 5lb
  5. Favori De Champdou (145) – 11st 4lb
  6. Desertmore House (144) – 11st 3lb
  7. Run Wild Fred (143) – 11st 2lb
  8. Senior Chief (141) – 11st
  9. Any Second Now (140) – 10st 13lb
  10. Intense Raffles (140) – 10st 13lb
  11. Macs Charm (140) – 10st 13lb
  12. Yeah Man (140) – 10st 13lb
  13. Diol Ker (139) – 10st 12lb
  14. Dunboyne (137) – 10st 10lb
  15. Hartur D’Arc (137) – 10st 10lb
  16. Frontal Assault (135) – 10st 8lb
  17. Where It All Began (135) – 10st 8lb
  18. Cool Survivor (134) – 10st 7lb
  19. Good Time Jonny (132) – 10st 5lb
  20. Street Value (130) – 10st 3lb
  21. Digby (128) – 10st 1lb
  22. Daily Present (127) – 10st
  23. Royal Thief (125) – 10st (2lb out the handicap)
  24. We’llhavewan (123) – 10st (4lb out the handicap)
  25. Where’s Frankie (123) – 10at (4lb out the handicap)
  26. History Of Fashion (120) – 10st (7lb out the handicap)
Jamie Clark
Jamie Clark
Jamie Clark

Jamie Clark has been with from the very beginning and penned the very first pieces of content that appeared right here. Known for his horse racing expertise, his strong gambling knowledge comes from childhood where he was surrounded by both horses and betting. The godson of a former on-track bookmaker at Market Rasen Racecourse, Jamie ended up working in the same industry and became Sports Editor of heavyweight bookies Coral for three years before they merged with Ladbrokes. After a successful spell freelancing for other big names in the business, he helped us launch this site with his skills, experience and ability coming in useful. Read long form content across a range of betting subjects from Jamie right here.

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