Saturday 24 February 2018

Cause Of Causes leads eight for Gordon Elliott in the Irish National

Trainer Gordon Elliott
Trainer Gordon Elliott

Impressive Cheltenham Festival winner Cause Of Causes is one of eight Gordon Elliott representatives declared for Monday's Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.

He won the Kim Muir by 12 lengths last week and while he is entered in the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree, he is only 57th on the list for that race, so connections have opted to turn out again quickly here.

Elliott also runs Mala Beach, who looked set to win the Bobbyjo Chase when he fell at the second last.

Bless The Wings, who ran well in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham, Killer Crow, Captain Von Trappe, Unic De Bersey, Definite Ruby and Riverside City complete Elliott's army.

Surprisingly champion trainer Willie Mullins does not saddle any of the 29 runners.

There are two British runners, Jonjo O'Neill's Another Hero and Kerry Lee's Classic Chase winner Russe Blanc.

The Sandra Hughes-trained Thunder And Roses, last year's winner, will be joined by stablemate Sub Lieutenant.

Jim Dreaper's Venitien De Mai will have his followers after a recent win, as will Thyestes winner My Murphy, who will be ridden by Robbie Power.

He is the 10-year-old's regular partner and is hoping the forecast rain arrives.

"I'd like to see the rain come again for him. We decided this year not to run again after the Thyestes and go straight for this," said Power.

"He had a run in between last year and it probably took the edge off him, but he still ran a good race and finished seventh.

"He's a big, strong horse and he can carry weight.

"Mala Beach looked like winning the Bobbyjo so the form has worked out well and he should have a live chance if the ground is on the slow side."

Noel Meade's progressive Bonny Kate, a full sister to Mala Beach, Mouse Morris' Rogue Angel and the grey Portrait King are other leading contenders.

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