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2016 Irish Grand National tips - Three against the field for Easter Monday's Fairyhouse highlight

Brian Healy 27 Mar 2016
It is Irish Grand National Day at Fairyhouse on Monday.

Brian Healy takes a look at the 2016 Irish Grand National, the highlight of Easter Monday's Fairyhouse racecard.

Easter Monday’s highlight of Fairyhouse’s high-class and competitive racecard is the Boylesports Irish Grand National, due off at 5.00pm, and which takes place over a marathon trip of 3m 5f of the County Meath track.

The race, which was first run back in 1870 has an illustrious roll-call of winners, and past champions of the high-class handicap chase include Butler’s Cabin, Commanche Court, Bobbyjo, Desert Orchid, Rhyme ‘n’ Reason and Tied Cottage, as well as three-time winner Brown Lad.

The 2015 winner of the race, Thunder And Roses, returns to defend his crown which he won twelve months ago under Katie Walsh, and Sandra Hughes’ charge will face a possible 28 rivals.

And in what promises to be a competitive affair, Brian Healy gives three against the field for the high-class handicap chase.

MALA BEACH (9/1, William HIll) was a high-class hurdler, winning twice at Grade Two level, and Gordon Elliott’s charge has made up into a very smart chaser.

Runner-up on his debut over fences behind The Tullow Tank, he won next time at Punchestown before being outgunned by Don Poli at Leopardstown in last season’s Topaz Novices’ Chase.

The Beneficial gelding has shaped very well this term without winning, and possibly needed the run when falling behind Sir Des Champs in a Thurles Listed contest on his return to action after a lengthy break.

His runner-up to Royal Regatta at Ascot probably came over an inadequate trip, and he stepped up on that effort to post a solid runner-up finish in the Theystes back in January behind the reopposing My Murphy. He wasn’t helped by a mistake at the second last on that occasion, but he looked sure to gain compensation when contesting the Bobbyjo Chase at this venue in February when falling two out when in the lead and still travelling well.

While he has to prove he gets this far, he had the right man on board to give him every chance of seeing out the trip; and assuming he can avoid the errors that have seen him kiss the turf twice from his four runs this term, he won’t be far away if lasting home.

Davy Russell can guide Mala Beach to Irish Grand National success.

ANOTHER HERO (14/1, Coral) makes the journey across from Jonjo O’Neill’s Gloucestershire base, and the Kalanisi gelding has to be respected for powerful connections.

The useful hurdler has taken his form to a new level since being sent over the larger obstacles and upped in distance, and he has won both his chase starts to date at Ascot and Ludlow, beating Delgany Demon and Still Believing respectively.

He was perhaps a shade fortunate to win the latter contest as he was left with a big lead by the departure of stablemate Ivy Gate in that race, but he was travelling slightly better and there was every possibility he would have won in any case.

Despite his relative inexperience coming up against a field of seasoned campaigners, he is open to plenty of improvement, and underfoot conditions won’t pose a problem.

Another Hero is 2-2 over fences, and a lack of experience might not prove too much of a hindrance to the promising chaser.

He looks sure to go well, as does BAIE DES ILES (20/1, Bet365) who will be partnered by last year’s winning rider, Katie Walsh.

Ross O’Sullivan’s charge was also a fair hurdler, posting an excellent effort on her first start for the trainer since arriving from France when finishing third to Morning Run in a Grade Three contest at this venue.

She didn’t quite progress from that promising first run, but switched to fences in January this year, she won on his first attempt over the larger obstacles when beating Unic De Bersy in an amateur riders’ contest, and followed up with an excellent runner-up effort behind Bonny Kate in the Grand National Trial, beaten eight lengths.

A winning chaser in France, the Barastraight mare was far from disgraced behind Boston Bob in the Bobbyjo Chase here, eventually finishing fourth. Back down in grade, the mare can make her presence felt with conditions ideal.

2015 winning jockey Katie Walsh looks to hold a solid chance of further success, this time partnering Baie Des Iles.


MALA BEACH (9/1, William HIll)

ANOTHER HERO (14/1, Coral)

BAIE DES ILES (20/1, Bet365)

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2016 Irish Grand National tips - Three against the field for Easter Monday's Fairyhouse highlight

Brian Healy takes a look at the 2016 Irish Grand National and tips three horses against the field for Easter Monday's Fairyhouse highlight.

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