Thursday, March 11, 2021

Burrows Saint, which gave Willie Mullins his first success in the most recent renewal of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National two years ago, is among the champion trainer’s 16 entries for the Easter Monday spectacular early next month.


Ruby Walsh celebrates his BoyleSports Irish Grand National success on the Willie Mullins-trained Burrows Saint at Fairyhouse in 2019. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post

The race was not held last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic but will feature on the final day of the Fairyhouse Easter Festival on April 5. The weights for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National will be released on Monday week, March 22.

The Slaneyville Syndicate-owned Acapella Bourgeois, third in the 2019 BoyleSports Irish Grand National, turned the tables on Burrows Saint as he won the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse for the second time last month. Both horses have the option of the Aintree Grand National but feature among Mullins’ early Fairyhouse entry as do Saturnas, Lord Royal, Harrie, the stable’s new recruit Agusta Gold and Cabaret Queen.

Denise Foster has made 22 entries, easily the most of any trainer. She has never had a runner in the Irish Grand National but her possibles include the legendary Tiger Roll, The Storyteller, Coko Beach, Conflated, the race’s 2018 winner General Principle, Pencilfulloflead and the 14-year-old Kruzhlinin, a winner for owner Camilla Sharples at Navan last Saturday.

Home By The Lee, A Wave Of The Sea and Sempo are among Joseph O’Brien’s nine entries while Noel Meade’s squad of seven includes Snow Falcon, Tout Est Permis and Brace Yourself. Meade won the race with the Ross Geraghty-ridden The Bunny Boiler in 2002.

Henry de Bromhead has put five in the race, the quintet headed by the Cheltenham Festival winner Balko Des Flos and Minella Times. Runner-up to Tiger Roll in the Aintree Grand National in 2019, Magic Of Light is one of three entries for Jessica Harrington who won the BoyleSports Irish Grand National with Our Duke two years earlier.

Another with three entries is Paul Nolan who could call upon leading novice chaser Latest Exhibition. Moyhenna is the highest-rated of Denis Hogan’s trio while Tom Mullins has also entered three horses, with his dual course winner and Porterstown Handicap Chase heroine Court Maid leading the way.

Dublin Racing Festival winner Off You Go and Doctor Duffy, formerly trained by Charles Byrnes, have been entered by County Westmeath-based Robbie Burns. Ratoath trainer Dermot McLoughlin has entered both Freewheelin Dylan and Opposites Attract.

Galvin is there for his new trainer Ian Ferguson; The Long Mile is one of two in the race for Philip Dempsey while Martin Brassil has entered Longhouse Poet and Robbie McNally has The Jam Man.

Four entries have been received from three British-based trainers. Philip Hobbs has entered Jerrysback and Musical Slave, both owned by JP McManus, Ian Williams has Red Infantry and Jonjo O’Neill, victorious with Butlers Cabin and Tony McCoy in 2007 and Shutthefrontdoor, ridden by Barry Geraghty, in 2014 has Time To Get Up, another in the colours of JP McManus.

Leon Blanche, Head of Communications for BoyleSports, said: “We are thrilled to be sponsoring the BoyleSports Irish Grand National and everybody is looking forward to yet another fascinating renewal of this iconic race. With the biggest prize fund of €400,000 on the Irish National Hunt calendar up for grabs, we have attracted a stellar list of entries so we’re going to relish what is certain to be another very competitive contest at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday.”

Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said: “The entry for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National is as strong as we hoped for. To have Tiger Roll among the 98 horses entered is intriguing to say the least and there will be far more shape to the race when the handicapper has his say on Monday week, after the Cheltenham Festival performances have been taken into account.”

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