Cool and composed Gibney pulls another rabbit out of the hat with stirring Irish National victory

Thomas Gibney
Tom Gibney: won his second BoyleSports Irish Grand National with Intense RafflesCredit: Getty Images

As Tom Gibney emerged from an umpteenth embrace, with lipstick smudged on his cheek, he turned around and joked: "This feels like my wedding!"

I wasn't at Gibney's big day, and hopefully wife Heidi isn't reading, but it would have needed to be one hell of a hooley to match the excitement and emotion of Easter Monday 2024 in front of a surprisingly big crowd of 16,758. 

This wasn't anything like Lion Na Bearnai, Gibney's previous winner of the Irish Grand National, a dozen years ago. He was 33-1 and winning was a nice surprise. Intense Raffles was 13-2 second favourite and had been talked about as a potential winner of the BoyleSports-sponsored highlight for months. Racing TV even sent cameras to his Capranny stable for a feature in the lead-up to the race. There was expectation, and with expectation comes intense pressure. 

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David JenningsDeputy Ireland editor

Published on 1 April 2024inReports

Last updated 19:49, 1 April 2024