Local trainer Dermot McLoughlin enters three in bid for historic BoyleSports Irish Grand National three-in-a-row

Tuesday, 07 March 2023
Local trainer Dermot McLoughlin enters three in bid for historic BoyleSports Irish Grand National three-in-a-row

Launch of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Dermot McLoughlin's Yard, Rathoath, County Meath today. 2022 winner Lord Lariat pictured with jockey Paddy O'Hanlon and Sharon McHugh, BoyleSports Head of PR and Sponsorship. The BoyleSports Irish Grand National takes place at Fairyhouse Racecourse on Easter Monday, April 10. Mandatory Credit: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

McLoughlin’s late father Liam rode the Tom Dreaper-trained Kerforo to win the race in 1962 and the Ratoath trainer cemented the family name in the rich history of the Easter extravaganza when taking the latest renewals with Freewheelin Dylan and Lord Lariat respectively.

In his bid to emulate trainer Jim Dreaper, who won successive Irish Grand Nationals with Colebridge in 1974, and with Brown Lad in both 1975 and 1976, McLoughlin has entered last year’s 40/1 hero Lord Lariat, Captain CJ and The Echo Boy for the €500,000 spectacular in just five weeks’ time. Lord Lariat is a 20/1 chance with BoyleSports for a repeat victory on the back of his run over hurdles at Leopardstown yesterday.

Sponsors BoyleSports make Ain’t That A Shame, Gaillard Du Mesnil and Panda Boy their 12/1 co-favourites for the race. Ain’t That A Shame took the runner-up spot in the Munster National at Limerick in October and ran another big race at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival and his trainer Henry de Bromhead has also entered Gabbys Cross (20/1), Amirite (25/1), Royal Thief (25/1) and Shantreusse (33/1).

Third in the race last year and a subsequent Grade 1 winner at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, Gaillard Du Mesnil heads an entry of 14 horses for Willie Mullins. The highest-rated of the champion trainer’s team is Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Stattler (20/1) and also to be found towards the top of the early handicap are Closutton stalwarts Carefully Selected (14/1), Franco De Port (25/1) and Burrows Saint (25/1), which gave Mullins his only win in the race and led home a 1-2-3 for the stable in 2019. Mr Incredible (16/1), Tenzing (16/1) and the novice Adamantly Chosen (20/1) are three more with leading chances for the champion trainer.

Martin Brassil saddled Numbersixvalverde to win the BoyleSports Irish Grand National in 2005 and his Panda Boy is topping the early betting for this year’s renewal. He was another to have run a huge race at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival but will need to bounce back from an early fall at the same track on Sunday.

Few trainers have their horses in better form than Gavin Cromwell and his Stumptown is only a 14/1 chance after notching up impressive wins at Thurles and Sandown in recent weeks. Another at the same price with BoyleSports is Thedevilscoachman which was a Grade 3 novice chase winner at Naas at the end of January. His trainer Noel Meade also includes Sunday’s Leopardstown winner Lieutenant Command (33/1) among his five entries.

Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Conflated (25/1) is the early top-weight for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National. His trainer Gordon Elliott has made 19 entries in all and big Cheltenham Festival hopes Delta Work (16/1), Fury Road (16/1), Minella Crooner (16/1) and Galvin (20/1) are also on his team. At odds of 14/1, last year’s BoyleSports Irish Grand National runner-up Frontal Assault is the shortest-priced of the Elliott contingent, with the recent Punchestown winner Coko Beach at 20/1 and Dublin Racing Festival winner The Goffer at 25/1.

There was very little between the Jonathan Sweeney-trained Churchstonewarrior and John McConnell’s Mahler Mission in the Grade 2 Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan a month ago and they rate as 14/1 and 16/1 chances respectively for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National. The Francis Casey-trained Max Flamingo was seventh in the race last year at odds of 10/1 and he’s another at 14/1 for next month’s renewal.

Successful in the BoyleSports Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree in December, the Dan Skelton-trained Ashtown Lad is the shortest-priced of the six British entries at 16/1. Runner-up in the Grade 1 King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen's Day, the Venetia Williams-trained Royale Pagaille is easily the highest-rated of the sextet and he rates as a 25/1 chance while Guetapan Collonges and Snow Leopardess are 25/1 and 50/1 chances respectively for trainer Charlie Longsdon with the Philip Hobbs-trained Musical Slave a 33/1 shot and Jonjo O’Neill’s Time To Get Up, 12th in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National last year, another 33/1 chance this time.

The Emmet Mullins-trained So Scottish is another 16/1 chance while last Saturday’s Navan Grade 3 Flyingbolt Novice Chase winner Indiana Jones is a 33/1 chance for trainer Mouse Morris with other recent scorers, the Eddie & Patrick Harty-trained Grandero Bello and Tom Gibney’s Velvet Elvis rated as 25/1 shots. The latter was sixth in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National in 2022. Anther 25/1 chance of interest could be the Joseph O'Brien-trained Busselton, winner of the Kerry National at the Listowel Festival in September.

Sharon McHugh, Head of Communications & Sponsorship for BoyleSports, said: “BoyleSports is incredibly privileged and proud to continue to sponsor the Irish Grand National. It’s such an iconic race and with a prize pot of €500,000, attracts all the top trainers and horses of such a high calibre.

“What I think racing fans love most about the BoyleSports Irish Grand National though is its ability to throw up a surprise on the day. Over the years we’ve seen some great wins from local trainers and just two years ago we saw the largest priced winner in Freewheelin Dylan at 150/1, so it really is all to race for at Fairyhouse this Easter Monday.”  

Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said: “It is great to have another top-class entry for this year’s Boylesports Irish Grand National. The entry features a host of Grade 1 winners headed by dual Grade 1 winner and leading Gold Cup fancy Conflated for Gordon Elliott and Michael O’Leary, while there are also two previous winners of the race in Lord Lariat and Burrows Saint entered. It is good to see six English trained entries headed by Royale Pagaille for Venetia Williams.

“We are delighted to be back here in Dermot McLoughlin’s yard for the launch of the weights as he bids for a three-in-a-row following his successes with Freewheelin Dylan and Lord Lariat. We are looking forward to an exciting Easter Festival from April 8 to 10 which will culminate with the 151st running of the Boylesports Irish Grand National at 5pm on Easter Monday.”

Back to News List