Early favourites stand their ground for Monday's BoyleSports Irish Grand National | Fairyhouse Racecourse

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Early favourites stand their ground for Monday's BoyleSports Irish Grand National

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 at 05:37PM

Ante-post favourites Gaillard Du Mesnil, Farclas and Max Flamingo are among the 51 acceptors for the 150th running of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse next Monday.

The trio sit comfortably among the 30 highest-rated horses remaining in the race and they are each guaranteed a run, should they be declared at 10am on Friday. Three horses will be included as reserves for the race at that time and will only make the final line up if there are non-runners announced before 10am on Sunday.

One of four Willie Mullins-trained horses standing their ground for the €500,000 Easter Monday bonanza, Gaillard Du Mesnil remains the clear 6/1 favourite with the sponsors. The champion trainer, who saddled the first three home as he won the race for a first time with Burrows Saint in 2019, might also be represented by joint-top weight Franco De Port but the trainer’s Stones And Roses and Recite A Prayer look set to miss the cut.  

Gordon Elliott is set to field a numerically stronger team with 8/1 chance Farclas heading his remaining 16 entries. Death Duty (14/1) and 16/1 shots Run Wild Fred and Mount Ida could also be among the final Cullentra contingent.  

The Peter Casey-trained Max Flamingo was a handicap hurdle winner on the BoyleSports Irish Grand National card a year ago and along with Farclas, he is the current 8/1 joint second favourite for the main event this time with Noel Meade’s School Boy Hours (10/1) and Diol Ker (16/1) and Matthew Smith’s Ronald Pump (14/1) other leading County Meath-trained contenders. Lord Lariat might yet sneak in at the bottom of the weights for last year’s winning trainer Dermot McLoughlin.

At the opposite end of the handicap, the 2021 Aintree Grand National hero Minella Times shares top weight with Franco De Port. De Bromhead could also saddle Full Time Score, only a 12/1 chance in the latest betting. The top-weight at declaration time cannot be higher than 11st 12lbs.

Ciaran Murphy’s Enjoy D’allen (14/1), the Bill Durkan-trained Screaming Colours (16/1) and Joseph O'Brien’s Early Doors (14/1) are certainly in with their chance as is the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Time To Get Up at odds of 20/1.

Also featuring on the Easter Monday card is the Grade 2 Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hurdle which has attracted 18 entries including the Pat Doyle-trained Flame Bearer, Arthur Moore’s Carrig Sam, Dermot McLoughlin’s Santa Rossa and Darasso from the Joseph O'Brien stable.

There are nine entries for the Grade 2 Devenish Chase and featuring among them are Melon and Janidil for Willie Mullins, the Noel Meade-trained Daly Tiger and Castlegrace Paddy, trained by Pat Fahy. Henry de Bromhead has also entered Minella Times for the race.

Willie Mullins has a strong hand in the Grade 2 Donohue Marquees Juvenile Hurdle with Icare Allen and Instit featuring among the 12 entries alongside the likes of Noel Meade’s Lunar Power and the Andy Slattery-trained Rebel Step.

Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said: “We are delighted with the strength in depth of the horses remaining in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National, with last year’s Aintree Grand National winner Minella Times heading the weights.

“The ground is currently yielding, good to yielding in places with scattered showers forecast over the next few days. It is gearing up to be another exciting weekend of racing at Fairyhouse with the highlight being the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at 5pm on Monday evening.”   

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