'Duke' backed to Lord it in Irish National
Our Duke looks very likely to go off favourite in the €500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National after he was cut across the board for the race on Monday by bookmakers yesterday.
The sponsor cut the horse into just 11/2, while no better than 7/1 is available. Our Duke, a novice, has only had three starts over fences, winning two and touched off in the other.
His trainer, Jessica Harrington, won the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month with Sizing John, as well as the Coral Cup and Grand Annual. Her only concern is ground-related.
"That is the plan at the moment; the only thing that would stop us is if the ground got too quick," she said.
"As long as the ground is good, good to soft he will run. That race, novices have a good record and I think he has got a nice weight for Fairyhouse."
Meanwhile, in Sunday's feature Ryanair Gold Cup, Yorkhill is available at just 8/13, with Disko next best at 5/1.
Willie Mullins is set to dominate the EBF Mares Final on the same day, with Lets Dance 8/11 ante-post favourite and Augusta Kate second-favourite at 6/1.
"The ground is good to yielding; the forecast is for some rain towards the end of the week. We will be monitoring the situation with regard to watering," said course manager Peter Roe.