The Boylesports Irish Grand National Day at Fairyhouse always takes place on Easter Monday, which falls on the 6th April. So, unlike last year’s race, this year’s renewal takes place 6 days before the Aintree equivalent, which means there may be fewer raiders travelling over from Great Britain. Lesser exposed chasers have dominated the race in recent years.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
horses aged 6 to 8: 7-16-141
horses aged 9 or older: 3-14-125
7 of last 9 winners have been aged 6 to 8
There has been no winners aged over 10 in past 10 years. There have been 3 winners aged 11+ in past 30 years, all 3 were trained in Great Britain.
horses carrying 10-6 or more: 2-12-108
horses carrying 10-5 or less: 8-18-158
9 of last 10 winners have all carried 10-8 or less (exception carried 10-13)
Of the 34 horses to carry 11-0+ in last 10 years (0-1-34), none have won and only 1 has made the places.
Record of top weight: PPPPFFP8P8 (0-0-10), only 2 of the 10 horses to be allotted top weight have completed the course.
2 of 10 winners were racing from out of the handicap, none by more than 7lbs.
horses rated 137 or higher: 1-9-85
horses rated 125 to 136: 9-18-171
horses rated 124 or lower: 0-3-10
9 of 19 winners were officially rated 125 to 136.
Since 2007 all 7 winners and 30 of 32 places were filled by horses rated 128 to 142.
Irish bred: 9-23-205
French bred: 1-4-32
British bred: 0-3-22
German bred: 0-0-1
USA bred: 0-0-6
9 of 10 winners have been Irish bred though they have represented 77% of the total runners.
4 of 5 French-bred horses were aged 6 or 7 (exception aged 8)
5 of 10 winners finished in the first 4 on last chase start (2 exceptions were unplaced in a grade A h’cap chase & 3 others unplaced at Cheltenham Festival)
8 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 131+ on last completed chase start
9 of 10 winners posted a chase RPR of 133+ that season
9 of 10 winners had run in past 50 days
9 of 10 winners had won a chase at a right-handed track (exception had yet to run right-handed over fences but won 2 of 3 hurdles racing RH)
10 of 10 winners had run at least twice that season
8 of 10 winners had won over 3M+ (2 exceptions had finished in first 3 in a 3M point to point)
10 of 10 winners had run in 4 to 12 chases
10 of 10 winners had won 1 to 4 chases
10 of 10 winners had run in 7 or fewer handicap chases
9 of 10 winners had won no more than 2 handicap chases (5 had yet to win one)
7 of 7 Irish-trained winners had won a chase at Fairyhouse, Navan or Clonmel
5 of 7 Irish-trained winners ran in a Grade A or B Leopardstown H'cap Chase since Christmas (2 exceptions finished in first 3 in Ten Up Novice Chase)
9 of 10 winners were 1st or 2nd season chasers (exception had had just 3 chase starts before that season)
7 of 10 winners had won at class 2 or higher (2 exceptions were placed in a class 2 or higher chase)
7 of 10 winners won a chase worth 20K+ (2 exceptions placed in a race worth 19K+)
10 of 10 winners had first start in a hurdle, bumper or point to point
4M NH Novice Chase winner (Cause Of Causes): 1 (1-0-1)
Ten Up Novice Chase winner (Very Wood): 0F1 (1-0-3)
Nas Na Riogh Novice H'cap Chase winner (Empire Of Dirt): 4 (0-1-1)
Cheltenham Cross Country Chase winner (Rivage D'Or): P4 (0-1-2)
Cork Grand National winner (Vics Canvas): P3 (0-1-2)
Porterstown H'cap Chase winner (Embracing Change): 4P0 (0-1-3)
Woodlands Park Novice Chase winner (Wounded Warrior): 00 (0-0-2)
Daily Mirror Chase winner (Roi Du Mee): RP (0-0-2)
Mercury Engineering Handicap Chase winner (She's Got Grit): 58 (0-0-2)
At The Races Chase winner (Roi Du Mee): PR (0-0-2)
Midlands National winner (Goonyella): PP (0-0-2)
Porter & Co. Beginners Chase winner (Gold Bullet): PFP (0-0-3)
Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Handicap Chase Final winner (Heathfield): U5P (0-0-3)
Punchestown Grand National Trial winner (Embracing Change): 80P5 (0-0-4)
4 of 10 winners had finished in the first 6 in the 4M NH Novice Chase at Cheltenham that season or the previous season
3 of 3 British-trained winners ran in 4M NH Novice Chase last time, finishing 186
2 of 2 Jonjo O'Neill winners won a 2M 4F chase at Aintree meeting in October
2 of 7 Irish-trained winners ran in Paddy Power Handicap Chase, finishing 07
2 of 7 Irish-trained winners ran in Thyestes Chase, finishing 10
2 of 7 Irish-trained winners ran in Munster National, finishing 0P
2 of 7 Irish-trained winners ran in Ten Up Novice Chase, finishing 31
2 of 7 Irish-trained winners ran in previous season's Ten Up Novice Chase, finishing 1F
2 of 7 Irish-trained winners ran in previous season's Hugh McMahon Memorial Novice Chase, finishing 41
British trained runners (3-3-25) have won 4 renewals in past 11 years.
Arthur Moore (1-2-10) trained the winner in 2011 and also saddled 4 other placed finishers since 2004.
Thomas Gibney (1-0-2) & Mouse Morris (1-0-5) have also both trained the winner in past 10 years.
The Sandra Hughes yard (0-4-15) were responsible for the winner in 2003 and have seen 4 of his 15 runners in last 10 runnings make the places.
Ted Walsh (0-1-1), Gordon Elliot (0-1-5) & Jim Dreaper (0-1-6) have saddled 1 placed finisher.
Several Irish trainers have done poorly in this race in the past decade such as Willie Mullins (0-2-20), Noel Meade (0-0-15), Tony Martin (0-1-13), Paul Nolan (0-1-11) & Tom Taaffe (0-0-6).
7 of 10 winners were settled in mid-division early on
3 of 10 winners tracked leaders
It has been a race for outsiders, with 6 of last 10 winners priced between 20/1 & 50/1, although last year, Shutthefrontdoor became first winning favourite this century.
Favourites (1-2-11) have gained 1 win and 2 places in past 10 years, giving a level stakes loss of 1.00. Prior to last year, you had to go back to 1999 for last winning favourite.
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Irish bred (or French bred aged 6 or 7)
- Aged 6 to 10 (ideally 6 to 8)
- Carrying 10-8 or less (no more than 10-13)
- Officially rated 128 to 142
- Had first run in a bumper/hurdle/point to point
- Posted an RPR of 133+ over fences this season
- Won over 3M+
- Run at least twice this season & run in the past 50 days
- Won a chase at right-handed track
- Previously won a chase Fairyhouse, Navan or Clonmel
- Run in 6 to 13 chases (winning 2 to 4)
- Contested no more than 7 handicap chases (& won no more than 2)
- Won a class 2 or higher chase worth 19K+
- Ran in this season’s Munster National, Paddy Power and/or Thyestes Chase
- Ran in a Grade A or B h’cap chase at Leopardstown since Christmas Day
- Finished in first 4 in 2014 or 2015 Ten Up Novice Chase
- Finished in first 5 in 2014 or 2015 4M NH Novice Chase at Cheltenham
- Trained in Great Britain or
- Trained by, Arthur Moore, Michael Hourigan or a smaller Irish yard.