Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins are bidding to win their first BoyleSports Irish Grand National on Easter Monday, and as a result, Ireland’s two biggest National Hunt trainers dominate the field for the country’s richest National Hunt race.
The €500,000 spectacular at Fairyhouse in Co. Meath today could decide the destination of the Irish trainers’ championship this season and of the horses remaining in the race, Gordon Elliott, the season’s leading trainer, is responsible for a much larger number than his great rival.
While Elliott has a stronger hand numerically, Mullins can boast ante-post favourites Pairofbrowneyes and Bellshill among his team. He can also call upon the likes of Isleofhopendreams and Kemboy while Elliott’s leading players look to include Monbeg Notorious, Folsom Blue, Squouateur and top-weight Outlander.
Mall Dini holds a prominent position in the betting market for trainer Pat Kelly while there are also places for the Noel Meade-trained Snow Falcon and Moulin A Vent.
Ross O’Sullivan is represented by Call It Magic while Thunder And Roses, winner of the race in 2015, is in the field for Mouse Morris.
Joseph O’Brien, the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning trainer, is represented by Arkwrisht. Eoghan O’Grady, John Ryan and Tom Mullins run Westerner Point, Kilcarry Bridge and Oscar Knight respectively.
Stephen Mahon has Champagne Harmony in the field and Adrian Murray will be represented by Killaro Boy. Fine Theatre comes from the Paul Nolan yard, with Edward Cawley’s Forever Gold getting in as the 30th runner.