Gallant Oscar (right) one of the leading Irish National contendersPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Wide-open market for Irish Grand National
PUNTERS seeking value in the Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse should have little difficulty in doing so, as the market remains wide-open for the fiercely competitive €250,000 race.
With no favourite obliging in the last ten years, four of the winners returning at 33-1 and last year's victor Liberty Counsel a 50-1 shot, the Irish National has proved a benefit for bookmakers, and there is no clear-cut favourite for this afternoon's race.
Pricewise selection Shutthefrontdoor, Tammys Hill, Home Farm and Goonyella are all duelling for favouritism, and the sponsors encapsulate the nature of the market with five 12-1 co-favourites.
Alfie Sherrin, the other pick for Tom Segal, has been cut to 16-1 from as big as 25, while there has also been support for Sraid Padraig, now also a general 16-1 chance (from 20).
The race has so far eluded Willie Mullins, and he has Touch The Eden and Away We Go as his representatives.
Of the pair, Touch The Eden appears the more obvious chance, and Mullins said: "Things have gone well for Touch The Eden this season. He's won over the track, jumps well and we think he'll get the trip. Hopefully the ground won't have dried out too much."
There was 4mm of rain overnight at Fairyhouse, and the ground remains good to yielding. Los Amigos is a non-runner in the Irish National, reducing the field to 29.