Ceebee looks at Monday's Irish Grand National and he likes the Jonjo O'Neill trained Another Hero.
Boylesports Irish Grand National - 5pm on Easter Monday, over 3m5f at Fairyhouse
Willie Mullins has a unusually weak entry this year. His assault on the British trainers title probably the main reason. McKinley is not very good. He won a very soft grade 1 last season and his chase form is nothing special. Tennis Cap having never raced beyond 2m6f is a risky proposition. Although with Ruby possibly riding and he did win last time out, 33/1 is arguably too big.
Thunder and Roses as last year’s winner must enter calculations. However he has been very poor (even allowing for the fact he has been trained for a big spring target) and is still 9lbs higher 12mts on. Foxrock is possibly a doubtful stayer over 3m5f and whilst he should handle it, he would prefer softer ground. Despite dropping 5lbs this season he’s still quite a way above his last winning mark.
My Murphy benefitted from a prominent ride and the removal of blinkers when winning the Thyestes. That form hasn’t worked out terribly well since and both the 9lb hike and better ground are not ideal for his chances either. Futuramic arguably let the Venitien de Mai form down last weekend when only third in Downpatrick. VDM is so well able to handle heavy ground that the better spring ground likely next Monday could be against him. Bonny Kate won the Punchestown Grand National trial but now 12lbs higher she might struggle. This is a tall ask for a 6yo mare and the Punchestown form hasn’t worked out very well.
Folsom Blue might be worth a few shillings at a big price. He was 5th in the 2014 edition when in the care of Conor O’Dwyer and his 3rd in the Paddy Power over Christmas entitles him to go close. Poor twice since he may just need to have been freshened up a little having been kept busy after a long spell on the sidelines.
Mala Beach was very nearly a selection but his jumping just doesn’t convince. He has fallen twice this season and an error 2out cost him the Thyestes. He’ll get the trip and is on a workable mark but can he stay on his feet?
Pass the Hat doesn’t stay this trip and Killer Crow is underpriced/overrated for what he has achieved this season. Portrait King is too slow on this ground and Cantlow was very poor at Cheltenham. Cause of Causes is likely to wait for Aintree but in my opnion has no chance of getting into the race. If he does run here the fear is it’ll come too soon after Cheltenham. Living Next Door has shown very little in the past 16mts. Bless the Wings ran a career best last time but converting the Cross Country form to the real thing is tricky. He might wait for Punchestown instead.
Jonjo has won this race twice recently for JP McManus. Both times with novices - Butlers Cabin and Shutthefrontdoor, so Another Hero appeals immediately. With just two novice handicap chase starts to his name over the larger obstacles he’s definitely open to loads of improvement. He won on both of those starts this season when arguably Jonjo’s weren’t firing on all cylinders. And whilst some of them still aren’t; a corner was turned in the spring. Only 7yrs old, his ability to handle decent ground can’t be questioned and he definitely stays 3miles well. With Geraghty to take the ride there’s plenty to like.
1 point each way Another Hero at 14/1 with Coral