Our Duke wins last year's Irish Grand National
NEARNING its 150th running, East Monday’s Boylesports Irish Grand National is one of the most prestigious races in the Irish jumps calendar.
The race, due off at 5pm, is now the richest Jumps race in the country, standing at a whopping €500,000.
Ireland’s most prestigious handicap chase used to be a punter’s race up until 2006 as only one winner in the previous 20 years had started any bigger than 14/1, but winners have been hard to find over the past decade.
It was a welcome sight for many punters when the novice, Our Duke, obliged as the 9/2 favourite last season becoming the second outright favourite to win since Omerta in 1991.
Nine of the last 21 winners have carried no more than 10st 1lb.
Just two winning favourites have obliged in the last 15 renewals and other than Our Duke last year, the last horse to win with more than 11-0 on it’s back was Commanche Court in 2000 and he carried 11-4.
The Gordon Elliott-trained Folsom Blue won the Irish Grand National Trial at Punchestown last month. In the Irish National, Folsom Blue will carry 11lbs less. He also finished fourth in 2016 and in a wide open contest is a decent each-way proposition at 12/1.