A record 47 horses trained in Ireland are among a strong
entry of 112 horses - up from 104 in 2018 and 109 in 2017 - for the 172nd Randox
Health Grand National at Aintree in early April. The previous highest number of
Irish-trained entries was 40 last year.
Gordon Elliott gained his second Grand National victory in
2018 when Tiger Roll held on by a head from the fast-finishing Willie
Mullins-trained Pleasant Company under Davy Russell. Tiger Roll is 20/1
joint-favourite as he bids to become the first horse since the great Red Rum in
1973 and 1974 to win back-to-back renewals.
Elliott, also successful with Silver Birch in 2007 before he
had trained a winner in Ireland, is the trainer with most entries with 22
horses engaged. His contingent also contains last year's third Bless The Wings,
last week’s Goffs Thyestes Chase runner-up Alpha Des Obeaux, the 2018 BoyleSports
Irish Grand National hero General Principle and last season's Thyestes Chase
scorer Monbeg Notorious. The Grade 1 winners Outlander and Shattered Love are
also on the early team.
Two other 'National' winners among the Elliott-trained
contingent are Out Sam, which took the Cork Grand National in October, and Jury
Duty successful in the Grade 1 Grand National Hurdle at Far Hills in America four
In addition to Pleasant Company, champion National Hunt trainer
Willie Mullins has nine other contenders to choose from. These include last
season's BoyleSports Irish Grand National runner-up Isleofhopendreams, the 2018
Ladbrokes Leinster National winner Pairofbrowneyes and Rathvinden which landed
the four-mile National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year.
Some Neck, a Grade 2 winner this season, Goffs Thyestes
Chase third Up For Review and Total Recall, winner of the valuable Ladbrokes
Trophy at Newbury in 2017, also feature for the County Carlow handler.
Four Irish trainers have made two entries. Henry de Bromhead
has entered both Sub Lieutenant and Valseur Lido while Jessica Harrington has
put Magic Of Light and Sandymount Duke in the race. Joseph O'Brien could be
represented by Edwulf and Vieux Morvan and Ross O'Sullivan has Baie des Iles and
Call It Magic.
With single entries are Enda Bolger who has Auvergnat and Philip
Dempsey who has put forward Mr Diablo. Pat Kelly has Mall Dini while Tony
Martin could run Anibale Fly. Tom Mullins, Eoghan O’Grady and Gearoid
O’Loughlin could yet be represented by Scoir Mear, Westerner Point and Jarob