Venitien De Mai to tackle Fairyhouse for Dreaper
Jim Dreaper is looking forward to having a cut at an historic edition of the Boylesports Irish Grand National on the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising with Venitien De Mai.
Having saddled four winners of the €275,000 Fairyhouse feature on the back of his legendary father Tom's 10 triumphs, Dreaper would be a fitting winner of the prestigious race this year.
"He came out of the race well," he said of Sunday's game Naas winner Venitien De Mai, which will race off a 10lb higher mark if it gets into the race. "The National weight looks fair enough as he won by six lengths. The problem we have now is because we claimed 5lb on Sunday, if we put Johnny Burke back on, we're effectively a stone higher. But that's the way it is."
Venitien De Mai heads the National betting at odds of around 10/1.
Similarly excited about a contrasting prospect is Curragh handler Michael O'Callaghan, whose Leopardstown Group Three winner Blue De Vega is a top-priced 20/1 for 2,000 Guineas glory.
"He's shaping up well and has done really well over the winter," O'Callaghan said of the colt.
"We're not looking to have a prep race and he'll probably go straight to the Guineas. If it were a case that Newmarket came a bit too soon, I would have no problem running him in a trial before going for the Irish Guineas."