Saturday 1 October 2016

Valseur Lido heads the weights for the Irish Grand National

PA

Published 07/03/2016 | 14:32

Willie Mullins
Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins is making a concerted effort to end his Irish Grand National hoodoo by entering 17 horses for the Boylesports-sponsored staying handicap chase at Fairyhouse on March 28.

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His team is headed by Grade One winner Valseur Lido, who tops the weights on 11st 10lb from a 90-strong entry for the Easter Monday showpiece.

Also among his squad are On His Own (11st 3lb), Measureofmydreams (10st 7lb) and Roi Des Francs (10st 12lb).

The first three horses home in last year's race are engaged once again with the winner Thunder And Roses (10st 7lb) one of five possibles from Sandra Hughes's yard.

The Mouse Morris-trained Rule The World (10st 7lb) and Jim Dreaper's Sizing Coal (9st 9lb), who were second and third, could try again.

Dreaper has another hopeful in the novice Venitien De Mai (9st 13lb), who booked his ticket for Easter Monday by winning the Leinster National at Naas on Sunday.

Gordon Elliott is another top trainer looking for his first win in the Irish National and has entered a team of 12 including Mala Beach (10st 12lb) and recent Thurles winner Lord Scoundrel (10st 7lb).

Cantlow (9st 10lb) finished best of the British challengers in sixth place for Paul Webber last year but is now in the care of Enda Bolger, who also has Gilgamboa (11st 2lb).

My Murphy won the Thyestes Chase for trainer Liam Burke at Gowran Park in January and he is on 10st 10lbs as he bids to improve on his seventh place last year.

Ireland's richest handicap chase has attracted 11 British entries from eight different stables.

Jonjo O'Neill has three, headed by Beg To Differ 10st 4lb), as he bids to win the race for the third time after Butlers Cabin in 2007 and Shutthefrontdoor under Barry Geraghty two years ago.

Other British possibles include David Pipe's Broadway Buffalo (10st 2lb), the Kerry Lee-trained Russe Blanc (9st 13lb) and Vivaldi Collonges (10st 4lb) from the Paul Nicholls stable.

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