Outsiders to consider for the Irish Grand National
While Thedevilscoachman, Lord Lariat, Chemical Energy and Mahler Mission are garnering most of the smart money for the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on April 10, the three-mile and five-furlong affair has proven to be an unpredictable race on many occasions in the past.
You only have to look at last year’s fixture, when the aforementioned Lord Lariat upset the applecart to finish first past the post as a 50/1 shot. That’s proof of just how open this marathon contest is – and with that in mind – let’s take a look at some outsiders to consider in theantepost odds for the Irish Grand national
Currently garnering a price of 33/1, the Gordon Elliott-trained Defi Bleu is a horse worth considering when placing your bet on the upcoming Irish Grand National. After a solid start to his career, in which he placed in seven of his opening ten career starts, the Gigginstown House Stud thoroughbred has failed to live up to his lofty expectations since.
Although the ten-year-old has been largely inconsistent over the past three seasons – the gelding showed his untapped potential in a win at Fairyhouse last year. He stayed on strongly in an extended three-mile handicap chase to reign supreme by just shy of a length from Donkey Years – and if he can find himself there or thereabouts when the field turns into the home straight – Defi Bleu is more than capable of causing the upset at this year’s renewal.
A horse not being spoken about enough is Gordon Elliott’s The Goffer. The Irish-bred six-year-old has had a great season thus far, notching up wins at Thurles and Leopardstown to coincide with place finishes at Fairyhouse and Warwick.
Couple that with the fact that he has already run on six occasions this season – and rust certainly won’t be a factor come race day. His most recent outing came in the Glenfarclas Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, in which he finished fourth and 11 lengths off the leader.
Despite the loss, The Goffer showed some promising signs that will give Elliott confidence heading into the feature race at Fairyhouse next Monday. His aptitude at making smooth headway at crucial points in the race made him competitive at Cheltenham – however it was his inability to kick on that ultimately proved his downfall.
Therefore, if Elliott has made the necessary adjustments in preparation for the Irish Grand National to ensure his horse can stay on over the final two fences, The Goffer may be one of the fixture’s value bets at 20/1.
Despite pulling up in his first major step up in competition, seven-year-old prospect Minella Crooner has shown enough throughout his career to date to be considered a danger at this month’s Irish Grand National.
With victories at Cork, Sligo, Punchestown (x2), and Fairyhouse, Minella Crooner is one of the more intriguing outsiders we can expect to see. Is his inexperience over the distance and against elite competition too tough to overcome? Or, will his undeniable potential and elite speed in the middle third prove too much for his opposition? We will find out on the day. At the time of writing, Minella Crooner is paying 25/1.
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