Who Will Win the Irish Grand National?

Irish Grand National

Not long now until the biggest race of the British season, with the 2023 edition of the Grand National taking place at Aintree on Saturday 15th of April. However, the Merseyside showstopper isn’t the first Grand National on the horizon. Taking place in its traditional Easter Monday slot is the Irish version of the race at Fairyhouse on the 10th of April.

This marathon affair has been the scene of a couple of shock results in recent seasons, with 40/1 shot Lord Lariat winning in 2022, and Freewheelin Dylan coming home in front at a huge 150/1 in 2021. Will it be more of the same this year? Or can one of the more fancied contenders get their nose in front?

Here we take a look at one of the Emerald Isle’s biggest chases from a trends perspective, using data presented by Newbettingsites.uk, to pick out the runners most likely to come out on top over the 3m5f trip.

Age Trends

Weight Carried Trends  age trends

Relative youth seems to be favoured in this event, with 61 of the 76 (80.26%) editions of the race since 1976 having been won by a runner aged between 6 and 9. Eight of the current 46-runner field falls down on this trend, including Defi Bleu from the yard of Gordon Elliott, and Jonjo O’Neill’s former Midlands Grand National winner, Time To Get Up.

Weight Carried Trends

Who Will Win the Irish Grand National by Weight Carried Trends

Whilst, in theory, there should be an even spread of winners amongst the weights, logic would dictate that runners with a light weight are more likely to be well handicapped than those with a more substantial burden to carry. It also seems likely that those with a low weight may be at an advantage given the particular demands of this stamina-sapping affair.

These theories are largely reflected in the above graph, which shows the weights carried by all winners since 1946. Whilst there is a large spread overall, ranging from 9st5lb all the way up to 12st7lb, it is notable that there is far more congestion in the bottom half of the weight range in comparison to the top half. It should be noted that the minimum weight for the race is set at 10st these days, but nevertheless, concentrating on those set to carry between 10st and 10st13lb, should hopefully help us zero in on the likely winner.

Other Factors

  • Look for a runner with an official rating of between 136 and 144 - Eight of the past ten winners have fallen into this range.
  • British and Irish Sires Fare Best - Seven of the past ten winners have been by a British or Irish sire.
  • Fit and Ready to Go - Seven of the past ten winners had previously run within 50 days.

Summary: Dunboyne Tops The List and Flamingo Worth A Flutter

This year's contest looks as fiendishly competitive as ever, with not many of the current 46-runner field hitting all of the preferred trends. However, two runners that come closer than most and are fancied to go well are Gordon Elliott’s Dunboyne, and Max Flamingo from the yard of Francis Casey.

The eight-year-old Dunboyne rates the most appealing each-way option at 20/1 with VBet. Last sighted finishing a solid fourth in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, he gets a 3lb drop in the handicap here, and had previously suggested that stamina may be his forte when staying on well to go down by just a short head over 3m1f in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park. Going for a trainer who won this with General Principle in 2018, he looks a solid bet to hit the frame.

At 25/1 with VBet, Max Flamingo is also worth an interest. Another eight-year-old set to carry the minimum of 10st, this son of Kalinisi boasts solid form in this race, having finished a good seventh – beaten by 8 3/4l - twelve months ago. He’s only 2lb lower in the handicap here, but will actually have 12lbs less on his back, which could see him finish much closer this time around.

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