The Punt Daily: Maddy Playle with one to follow in the Irish Grand National
Shady Operator(5.00 Fairyhouse)
I was pleasantly surprised when Shady Operator sneaked into the Irish Grand National as I have had him earmarked for a big staying handicap chase for some time. A decent hurdler, he made a good start over fences and notably beat the ill-fated Ballyward over 3m1f at Punchestown in December. He then made an eyecatching mid-race movebefore fading late on in a good Grade 3 at Naason his next start.Badly hampered four fences from home when creeping into the Close Brothers, he still stayed onencouragingly up the hill like a horse who would relish this test. Still only a six-year-old, I am convinced he is better than a mark of 136 and if his jumping holds up I think he is sure to be involved.
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