Traditionally, you are looking for a novice in the Irish Grand National and that would point you towards Burrows Saint or Cest Jersey of Willie’s runners.
I’ve gone for Burrows Saint. He won well at Limerick last month and he stayed on really well. He’s improved with every run this year and is going in the right direction. He has only had three runs over fences in Ireland, but he had two in France before he joined Willie, so he has plenty of experience, and that’s why I’ve gone for him.
There’s plenty of interest in the rest of the field too, and so here’s my guide to the rest of the runners, with one other Mullins horse clearly underestimated by the bookies.
Tout Est Permis
He’s done well. Had a good win in the Kinloch Brae, stepping up in trip will suit him. Top weight is a tough ask but he’s a good horse.
Ran well for a long way in the English National, but this could be coming too soon.
Departed earlier in the English National, he’ll have a chance here. Could run a good race, but 11st 6lbs is a lot of weight.
Didn’t go to Aintree and carries a 10lb penalty for winning the Leinster National, but Paul Townend has stuck with him so he must think he has a chance.
On the same mark at 155. Ran well in the Kinloch, he’d have won if not for a mistake at the last, and I’d expect him to finish in front of Tout Est Permis.
Never rose a gallop in the Gold Cup, but 11st 4 on her back, dropping back to a handicap, she’s a very good mare.
A Toi Phil
Ran at Aintree, hard to see anything happening here in my eyes.
Runs off 150, likes Fairyhouse. Won well in Clonmel over two-and-a-half miles, the extra distance here will suit him. Has to have a chance.
Any Second Now
Only negative would be the ground for my dad’s horse. His three wins have all come with soft somewhere in the going description.
Likes very soft ground, hard to see him being as good on this surface.
Bang out of form. Pulled up in the English National going away from the stands. I’d be surprised.
Really improving, carrying 10st 9lbs, Liam Cusack and Denis O’Regan involved, he has a massive chance.
Won the race last year on much different ground and took a heavy fall at Aintree.
Won the Paddy Power but disappointing since. A reproduction of that run, even with more weight on his back, would have him in the running and he should like the ground.
Missed out by a snot last year, was second in the Leinster National, sure to run his race.
Blow by Blow
He’s been too in-and-out for my money.
He’s on the way down. He’s down to a mark of 141, which must be a career low – form doesn’t suggest it but at one stage he was a 165 horse.
Slow and keeps going, probably has to improve.
Definitely has a chance, always runs well this time of year. Wears blinkers, sound jumper, he has a squeak.
Snuck up the handicap for winning the Cork Handicap. He’s been consistent since but I don’t know if he has anything in hand.
Gordon’s team fancy him. He’s a novice as well. Fell on his last start but novices have a great record.
Bolted in the Leopardstown chase, loves good ground, goes a good gallop, he’ll be up there out of trouble. If he gets the trip he’ll take a bit of pegging back.
Too inconsistent. he was third in Limerick but didn’t travel. If races like he ran there, he’ll find himself with a lot of horses to pass.
It’s too quick for Forever Gold, stays all day but the ground has to be a concern.
Loves the ground, ran really well in the Leinster National, he’s improved with every run this season. He’s no 25/1 shot.
JP McManus and Tom Lacey involved, I don’t know a whole lot about him but if they’re bringing him over he must have a shout.
Not for me.
Will have a chance if he puts his best foot forward.
Always makes a really costly mistake. Maybe Andrew Ring will get a tune out of him, but I’m glad I’m not on his back. A horse that always puts in a stinking mistake and it’s cost him big races in the past.
Five to Finish in the Irish Grand National
Shattered Love is a very safe jumper and will finish, Auvergnat as well, Valseur Lido is a good jumper, and Out Sam. I can’t see Jury Duty falling twice on the trot either.
The obvious danger to Mullins’ horses?
Shattered Love is the class horse off 154, over 11st has to be a negative. Whisperinthebreeze, Snugsborough Benny, and Any Second Now look like lively ones outside of Willie and Gordon’s 19 runners.
Which of Willie’s is the best value?
Bellow Mome at 25/1. He shouldn’t be that price.