Sunday 23 July 2017

Elliott's national bid

Trainer Gordon Elliott at his stables ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile
Trainer Gordon Elliott at his stables ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Gordon Elliott is responsible for 28 of the 124 entries for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National as he seeks to land that elusive first success in the Fairyhouse feature on Easter Monday.

The Meath trainer went close last spring when Bless The Wings, which has been given 9st 11lb, was just touched off by Rogue Angel. His team is headed by Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Outlander, which has top weight of 11st 10lb, followed by stablemates Empire Of Dirt and Don Poli on 11st 8lb and 11st 7lb.

Another of his leading hopes would be Noble Endeavor (11st), one of the 10/1 co-favourites with the sponsors.

Rogue Angel, which has been handed 10st 10lb this time, is among five entries made by Mouse Morris who also has Alpha Des Obeaux (10st 7lb) and 2015 winner Thunder And Roses (10st 6lb).

Willie Mullins fields 14 possibles as he tries to end his Irish National hoodoo, with Alelchi Inois on 11st 5lb. His leading novice chaser Bellshill has been given 10st 9lb, while early 10/1 co-favourite The Crafty Butcher is on 9st 9lb. Mullins has also entered his recent Fairyhouse winner Pleasant Company (10st 8lb).

There are 24 British entries, with Jonjo O'Neill having five - including the 2014 winner Shutthefrontdoor (10st 4lb), Minella Rocco (11st 4lb) and More Of That (11st 3lb).

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