Easter Monday and as well as the extended weekend, we also have a fantastic day of sporting activity played out across the board in the UK and Ireland. One of the standout fixtures of the day takes place at Fairyhouse where the highlight of their Easter Festival – the 2019 Irish Grand National – goes to post. Here are our top Irish Grand National betting tips.
Punters have a star-studded field to pick through and there’s plenty of value to be had for those looking to back a big priced winner or take more of a chance on an outsider in the each-way betting. Bookies have done the work to ensure there’s plenty to hold your attention and you can bet on a number of exciting markets, including race winner and without the favourite.
A Great Day for Racing in Ireland
The Irish Grand National is head and shoulders above any other horse race you’ll see on Monday and it looks certain to live up to expectations after the bar was set high by the Grand National at Aintree and the Scottish Grand National over the last two weeks.
It isn’t the only race of note on the card, however, with Fairyhouse staging eight contests in total on Sunday, taking us from a novice handicap hurdle at 2.05pm through to the flat race due to post at 6.10pm which brings the curtain down for another day. Between the two, followers are tasked with finding the winner of the Grade 2 juvenile hurdle, Grade 2 hurdle and Grade 2 Devenish Chase.
There’s lot to get through but our team of horse racing tipsters can’t drag themselves away from the bill-topper and they focus on the Irish Grand National when previewing, believing we have a pick well worth backing at a price that’ll put a smile on your face. Read on as we pick apart the big one, starting with the trends you should know about.
The Irish Grand National was first run in 1870, with the modern version of the race decided over 3m 5f and across 24 jumps. There’s 500,000 euros in prize money, with a whopping 270,000 of that paid to the winner. It’s little wonder the best and brightest the sport has to offer will be in attendance as they aim to land the cheque and join an elite list of winners.
The most successful horse to ever run in this race was Brown Lad who famously completed a hattrick of wins between 1975 and 1978. That will take some topping, although there have been a few contenders over the years. We have to go all the way back to Pat Taaffe for our most successful jockey, holding six times between Royal Approach in 1954 and Flyingbolt 1966.
There can be no doubts over who the leading trainer is, with Tom Dreaper responsible for an incredible 10 winners and we doubt that will ever be beaten. He got off the mark with Prince Regent in 1942 and Flyingbolt was his last in 1966.
Lucky Number Seven
Looking at more recent runnings of the race and followers of the trends will be interested to learn a seven-year-old horse has won three of the last five renewals, including Our Duke for Jessica Harrington in 2017, the others on that list being Shutthefrontdoor in 2014 and Thunder And Roses in 2015. There’s not a lot to go on from jockeys and trainers, with the title passed between the top names over the last few years.
That leaves us to focus more on the form of the entries, but odds-makers have taken up position on the fence, their antepost market wide-open at the time of writing. Any Second Now headed the list at the weekend with 7/1 offered by Bet365, the same firm giving 8/1 on Pairofbrowneyes, Discorama and Burrows Saint, 9/1 Tout Est Permis and 12/1 for Jury Duty and Snugsborough Benny.
Such a competitive market will be music to the ears of value hunters, eager to take advantage of any loose prices made by bookies. We’re happy to oppose the favourite in a contest that does little to support taking the jolly, but we don’t allow our eyes to drift too far down the pecking order.
The one to carry our stake money in this year’s Irish Grand National is the much-loved Pairofbrown eyes who is an 8/1 joint-second favourite at the time of writing. Representing the hugely successful Willie Mullins yard, this experienced 10-year-old gelding brings a career record of six wins and 10 placed efforts from 30 starts and it’s no surprise to see the money men scramble to keep him close.
Fifth Time a Charm
No stranger to Fairyhouse, Monday will be his fifth visit here, although he has suffered a mixed bag over the years. Pairofbrowneyes made a winning debut here when collecting a maiden hurdle over 2m 4f back in 2014 and was second behind Ball D’Arc in the Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase in 2017. There was less to smile about on his last visit, however, falling in this race last year when sent off as a 13/2 favourite.
That’s interesting as, despite coming down, he went with the backing of the bookies and, just 12 months later, you’ll get 8/1 about a 13/2 poke. Has that much changed in such a short space of time? We don’t think so. Since falling in the Irish National, Pairofbrowneyes disappointed at Leopardstown and Gowran but was a winner last time out when scoring at Naas.
A Return to Form
Returning to form, the victor nailed the Leinster National last month over three miles, scoring off an incredible 12/1 and he looked somewhere near back to his best when doing so, hammering runner-up Isleofhopendreams by five lengths, pre-race favourite Wishmoor finishing second last. This is a tougher test, of course, but if we see the improvement on that day we’re expecting from this runner, backers will go close to landing another fantastic pay-out.
It would make for a great story too in a time of famous sporting comebacks. Each-way backers will get 1/4 the odds a place 1-2-3-4 at Bet365, which offers a bit of a safety net.