Ray Flanagan with Irish National Selections
Hearts Are Trumps (16-1) and Aesop (7-1) were two terrific winners for the column on Saturday. Two darts at today’s feature, the BoyleSports Irish Grand National, a race that has never been a favourite of mine , but often touted as the showpiece race in the Irish National Hunt calendar,
Fairyhouse 5.00- Brace Yourself and Jerrysback
Brace Yourself represents Noel “Magnificent” Meade (pictured), in many ways the forgotten man of Irish National Hunt racing. A lightly raced novice he posted a good trial when runner-up in the Porterstown over the course and distance last November and the quicker conditions today may enable his stamina to hold out that little bit longer and give it a good shot.
It would be poetic justice if the UK raider pulled off the prize following the Irish domination at Cheltenham, and I feel they have a sporting chance with the Philip Hobbs-trained Jerrysback. This horse has notable form particularly at Ascot where he ran the smart Vinndication close as a novice and also two good placed efforts in strong handicaps at the Berkshire venue, including behind Dazzle Drasher on penultimate start. Slight doubts about the suitability of trip also, but under quick conditions he has more of a chance of staying than on soft terrain and worth chancing at a nice each-way price.
1 pt ew JerrysBack- 5.00 FFairyhouse-33-1 SkyBet- 7 places
0.5 pts ew- Brace Yourself-5.00 Fairyhouse-12-1 SkyBet- 7 places