Agusta can strike Gold at Fairyhouse

LATEST Exhibition will carry top weight (11st 10lb) in the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday after connections of Tiger Roll opted to send the two-time Grand National Hero to Aintree for next Thursday’s Betway Bowl. 

The five-time Cheltenham Festival winner had been ruled out of a tilt at a third Grand National after Eddie and Michael O’Leary claimed the horse had been given an “unfair weight burden” by the English handicapper, but his mark of 163 (3lb lower) by the Irish handicapper wasn’t enough to tempt Gigginstown into sending the legendary staying chaser to Fairyhouse. 

The O’Learys have enjoyed won the Irish Grand National four times in the past, most recently with General Principle (20/1) in 2018 and they’ll have at least four runners in Monday’s race – namely Coko Beach, Run Wild Fred, Mortal with Eurobot replacing Roaring Bull. 

Willie Mullins ended his Irish Grand National hoodoo in spectacular fashion in 2019 with Burrows Saint (6/1) leading home a one-two-three for Irish champion trainer with Isleofhopendreams and Acapella Bourgeois finishing second and third respectively.

Burrows Saint looks set to try and emulate the likes of Bobbyjo and Numbersixvalverde by completing the National double at Fairyhouse and Aintree while Acapella Bourgeois is also bound for Liverpool. 

Agusta Gold could be the pick of the Mullins runners and is around 10/1 in the betting. 
Joseph O’Brien’s main hope, Sempo, has been the subject of continued support during the week and has halved in price from 14/1 down to 7/1. 

Latest Exhibition (left) will carry top weight on Monday's Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse

Latest Exhibition (left) will carry top weight on Monday's Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse

The current favourite, however, is the Paul Nolan-trained Latest Exhibition, who skipped Cheltenham in favour of this race. 

Rated as a 9/2 chance, Latest Exhibition has finished behind Monkfish three times, including his last two starts at Leopardstown. 

Punters may be keen to follow Rachael Blackmore at Fairyhouse following her stunning exploits at the Cheltenham Festival, but the Henry de Bromhead-trained Minella Times looks set to line up in the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday and she takes the mount on Robin De Carlow for Willie Mullins.

The horse has been well supported from 20/1 on Sunday down to 14/1 with the well-fancied The Big Dog being withdrawn this morning.

Another who has been well-backed is the Noel Meade-trained Brace Yourself. Having traded at 33/1 last week, Sean Flanagan's mount is now around 14/1 and he could run into a place.

The 29-runner field will go to post at 5pm on Easter Monday.

Selection: Agusta Gold (10/1)

Each-way picks: Robin De Carlow (14/1), Brace Yourself (14/1).