28 March 2023
By Roger Kennedy
It’s almost time for that traditional Easter Monday race, the Irish Grand National, held at the Fairyhouse Racecourse. It was first run back in 1870 and takes place over 3 miles and 5 furlongs, open to racers aged 5 years and older who go head to head over the course’s 24 fences.
The race, which holds Grade A status, has boasted numerous top races in the past including Arkle, Tied Cottage, Flyingbolt and Desert Orchid, as well as Aintree winners Bobbyjo, Numbersixvalverde and Rhyme N’ Reason.
The race is usually held pretty close to the Aintree and Scottish Grand National races, so it comes as no surprise that the Irish Grand National winner has never won the Aintree National in the same year, although the three above have managed to do the double.
Both Numbersicvalverde and Bobbyjo won the Irish Grand National before winning the English National the following year… so you never know, the result of this race could give you a heads up for next year’s Aintree result.
Where Have Previous Winners Come From?
When trying to make predictions, it’s always good to know facts about previous winners. Historically, past winners have come from:
- Ireland: 16 winners and 56 placings from more than 490 runners
- Great Britain: 3 winners and 2 placings from over 35 runners
- France: 1 winner and 1 placing from 5 runners
If you want to bet on Irish Grand National today, looking at odds and percentages is important.
Looking at percentages rather than numbers, then although Ireland has the majority of wins, it is only 3.27 % of its runners that win, whilst 11.4% of runners have placed.
In terms of GB runners, 8% of its entrants have won, with another 5.7% of its runners placing. However, 20% of France’s runners have won and another 20% placed… so the odds are pretty good.
That being said, there are always many more Irish runners than any other, so as you can see by the numbers, the chances are that an Irish runner will win.
The Irish Grand National 2023 Runners
Although the final list of the Irish Grand National runners will be declared closer to race day, it seems that all eyes will be on whatever runner is sent to to the race this year by Dermot A McLoughlin, who produced the previous two winners – priced as outsiders at 150/1 and at 40/1.
However, according to the Irish Grand National odds this year, the three main horses to watch are Gaillard Du Mesnil, Ain’t That A Shame and Carefully Selected, who currently are all placed as joint favourites… although the odds will likely change over the next couple of weeks as the race approaches.
Gaillard Du Mesnil, trained by the world renowned Willie Mullins ran the race back in 2022 and managed to take third-place. However, since that run, the talented horse has enjoyed Grade 1 success when running at Leopardstown.
Then we have Ain’t That A Shame, who is expected to be guided by Rachael Blackmore. The Henry De Bromhead runner goes into the race relatively inexperienced for his age, having not yet won any jump races, but bookmakers still seem to have a lot of confidence in him.
Then we have another horse from the yard of Willie Mullins’. Carefully Selected, who has been pretty impressive over those fences recently and has won some pretty solid novice races in the past year as well as the Thyestes handicap chase in January.
According to pretty much all bookmakers at this stage, these are the three horses that many believe will play a big role in the race… and we’re sure that plenty of money will go on them.
However, we can’t forget last year’s winner, Lord Lariat, who may be an outsider but won the race in 2022, when the odds were even more against him.
So, you might want to play safe and go for the bookie favourites, or maybe you want to go for the third shock in a row then a small wager on Lord Lariat could be on the cards!