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Incredible first win and 1, 2, 3 in the Boylesports Irish Grand National for champion trainer Willie Mullins

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 at 09:17AM

Crowds up 17% as sun continues to shine three-day Fairyhouse Easter Festival

Art teacher Paula Gannon, from Athlone, awarded Dunboyne Castle & Spa Most Stylish Lady prize by Una Healy 


Monday, April 22, 2019: First-time Grand National winning trainer Willie Mullins wowed huge Fairyhouse crowds with a 1, 2, 3 in Ireland’s favourite race.


After winning the Gold Cup in Cheltenham for the first time this year, Mullins brought his winning form to Fairyhouse to clinch the incredible result in €500,000 Boylesports Irish Grand National with Burrows Saint, ridden by Ruby Walsh for well-known owner Rich Ricci.

A huge crowd of 12,500, a 17% increase on the 2018 figures, lifted the packed stands as Burrows Saint, Isleofhopendreams and Acapella Bourgeois battled it out on the final straight of the 3 mile 5 furlong marathon.


The winner’s prize of €270,000 and trophy was presented by President Michael D Higgins, who met all of the 30 riders before the race. Earlier in the day, smiling crowds snapped selfies with the president as he arrived on the course.


 “It’s a wonderful result for Willie,” said Fairyhouse general manager Peter Roe. “We’re thrilled to have his name in the historic list of winning trainers of the Irish Grand National, the race of the people.”


“We were delighted by the crowds who witnessed one of the best Irish Grand Nationals ever in the sunshine here in Fairyhouse,” he said.


 The main off-track attraction was the Dunboyne Castle & Spa Most Stylish Lady competition. Art teacher Paula Gannon, from Athlone, scooped the title, winning a four-night trip to the Bobby Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as overnight at Dunboyne Castle & Spa.


Singer and songwriter Una Healy joined Xposé producer Debbie O’Donnell and Dunboyne Castle & Spa managing director Grainne Ross to choose the winning style.


Paula wore a floral Hobbs suit, from Kildare Village, to suit this year’s country-chic theme. Paula designed her own hat and she also added embellishment to her Savida - Dunnes Stores shoes. She finished the look with a pink clutch from Coast.


Earlier judge Una Healy praised the creativity of racegoers and how they worked with the theme. “Country gardens inspired some beautiful style here today,” she said, before recalling that the last time she was at Fairyhouse, she was playing music to the crowd.


Racing continues on Tuesday, with additional children’s entertainment on course and free entry for under-16s.

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