After putting in an incredible performance at Cheltenham with a near whitewash only prevented by a few horses like Missed Approach scoring wins for Britain, it’s fair to say that the Grand National is looking like it could see another Irish victory. If you’re thinking of placing a bet with Paddy Power Grand National, it could be well worth your time to have a look at Total Recall who’s considered by many to be the banker for this race. Of course, the outstanding performance of Ireland last month should come as no surprise- as a country, we have a long history in the sport.
Being the home of the steeplechase, the Irish have always been strong contenders in the arena of horse-racing and maintain a presence as a nation in the sport. In fact, they’ve had strong performances in the Grand National almost since its beginning! Started in 1839, it was less than a decade from the National’s inception that an Irish horse took home the win in 1847 with the more conventionally named Matthew, who also stood as the 10-1 joint favourite that year. The next winner was not long after in 1850 with Abd-El-Kader who proved a truly phenomenal horse by also winning the next year and becoming the first dual winner in Grand National History. In 1947, the winner was Caughoo who (in addition to being an Irish horse) was a 100/1 outsider that won by an impressive 20 lengths! The wins continued, on and off, throughout the years with the most recent being Rule the World in 2016. While no-one can know what the future holds, a number of likely contenders have been getting a run in at the Irish Grand National recently who might be making an appearance in the years to come!
The Irish Grand National, while perhaps not as well observed as the one at Aintree, is a great opportunity to get an idea what horses might be putting in a running next year or afterwards as they age into their prime. The latest race was won narrowly by General Principle with Isleofhopendreams getting edged out by the competition. While neither will be running at Aintree, Isleofhopendreams is trained by Willie Mullins much like Total Recall who’s expected by many to prove a prime contender for the main event. But what about all the other races? While Irish horses have always put in a good running, whether or not they’ll dominate the entire festival is a little less certain. This year sees 40 horses from the emerald isle entering the race and a fair few likely contenders among them; including Rathvinden (another horse trained by Willie Mullins), Anibale Fly (trained by Tony Martin) and Tiger Roll (trained by Gordon Elliot), any of whom would be a fine punt for the aspiring handicapper. But are they enough to beat the likes of Blaklion and The Last Samuri (who was only narrowly beaten by Rule the World back in 2016)? If the past is anything to go off, the British horses are certainly not going to be push-overs. Whether or not Ireland will win the National is certainly up in the air, you’ll have to tune in to see who wins!