Grand National horses from Ireland

Below are listed all the horses running in the Grand National that are trained in Ireland. You can also pick your horse by the colour the jockey wears, its star sign, or just take a lucky dip. Good Luck!
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Cause Of Causes
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Cause of Causes has history to overcome as no seven-year-old has won the Grand National since 1940. If you can ignore that statistic then the Gordon Elliott trained gelding must have a good chance of keeping up JP McManus' excellent record in this race. Cause of Causes won the four mile National Hunt chase at the Cheltenham Festival so it should be safe to assume that stamina should not be a problem in a race such as the Grand National. However, Cause Of Causes supporters should take into account that the NH Chase was run at quite a sedate gallop something that is extremely unlikely to happen in a Grand National. The likely increase of pace at Aintree will place even more emphasis on stamina and jumping accuracy meaning that Cause of Causes will need to have improved even further to be competitive. Underfoot conditions though would not seem to be a problem for Cause Of Causes as he has won on all grounds from good to heavy. AP McCoy has decided to ride Shutthefrontdoor rather than this horse but Cause Of Causes has an able deputy in Paul Carberry.

Horse Age: 7
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey: Paul Carberry
Horse Star Sign: Aquarius
Horse Trained at: Ireland
Jockey Silks Colour: Green

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First Lieutenant
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First Lieutenant has been a wonderful servant to Gigginstown House winning the Neptune Novice Hurdle at the Festival and a Betfred Bowl at Aintree as well as many other placings in top-class races. The Mouse Morris trained gelding has amassed over half a million pounds in prize-money but his form has taken a noticeable dip over the last twelve months. A tongue-tie has been applied to First Lieutenant for his last three runs and the son of Presenting has been tried in blinkers at various points this season. Unfortunately these aids have not really brought about a return to the kind of form that saw First Lieutenant finish runner-up in a Lexus Chase and it could be that the ten-year-old gelding is feeling the effects of a tough career. Nina Carberry has been brought in to replace the suspended Bryan Cooper but despite riding plenty of winners for Gigginstown her record over fences in the famous maroon colours is 0 out of 11 over the last five seasons.

Horse Age: 10
Trainer: Mouse Morris
Jockey: Nina Carberry
Horse Star Sign: Aries
Horse Trained at: Ireland
Jockey Silks Colour: Red

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Ballycasey
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Ballycasey has recently proved something of an enigma for his connections as even Willie Mullins and owner Rich Ricci seem unsure as to the horse’s optimum distance. The eight-year-old son of Presenting was made favourite for last year’s RSA Chase on the back of two wins at shorter than three miles. Then in the RSA Chase itself Ballycasey led at the third last fence but appeared to not fully see out his race. Since then Ballycasey had had six races at distances ranging from 2m 1f up to 3m 1f and is now set to be pushed right up to the Grand National distance of 4m 3f. Apart from an odds-on victory over 2m 4f at Gowran Park there has been little cheer for Ballycasey’s connections with his last three races in particular proving to be extremely disappointing. Moving up to the Grand National distance smacks of something of a last resort from the Mullins’ team but Ballycasey is distantly related to 1995 Grand National winner Royal Athlete so perhaps an extreme test such as this will bring about a return to form.

Horse Age: 8
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Ruby Walsh
Horse Star Sign: Aries
Horse Trained at: Ireland
Jockey Silks Colour: Pink

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Spring Heeled
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The Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival has recently developed into a useful trial for the Grand National with former Kim Muir winner Ballabriggs going on to victory in the big race at Aintree. The winner of the Kim Muir three years ago, Sunnyhillboy, also went on to finish second in that year’s Grand National, beaten just a nose by Neptune Collonges. Spring Heeled looks to follow in this tradition after taking the Kim Muir at last year's Cheltenham Festival. Jim Culloty’s eight-year-old appears to have had his season geared towards Aintree for 2015 where connections will undoubtedly be hoping for good ground. Spring Heeled has won on heavy ground but his very best form is reserved for when the going is good. Having the required stamina for a race such as the Grand National is still in question for Spring Heeled but the horse was noted staying on past tiring rivals in last season’s Bet365 Gold Cup. Also noted from that race was the horse’s tendency to make the odd sloppy jump. Whilst the Grand National is not the jumping test it once was Spring Heeled will need to keep jumping errors to a minimum if he is to have a realistic chance. The form of the Culloty stable must also be a major concern.

Horse Age: 8
Trainer: Jim Culloty
Jockey: Nick Scholfield
Horse Star Sign: Taurus
Horse Trained at: Ireland
Jockey Silks Colour: Purple

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Lord Windermere
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Former Cheltenham Gold Cup winners do not have a great record when taking their chance in this race. Seven Gold Cup winners have attempted to win the Grand National since 1990 with only Garrison Savannah (2nd in 1991)and Master Oats (5th in 1997) going on to make the top five places at Aintree. The last three Gold Cup winners to attempt the Grand National all failed to complete the course. Jim Culloty has fitted a first-time visor to Lord Windermere in an attempt to rediscover the horse's old form. The nine-year-old gelding gave a reluctant performance in this year’s Gold Cup where he never looked at ease and was tailed off after just six fences. That poor performance resulted in trainer Culloty ending the horse's partnership with jockey Davy Russell, just a year after he had galvanised Lord Windermere to a famous Gold Cup victory. Robbie McNamara takes the reins now for the National and it has been reported that he had the choice between this horse and the seemingly more fancied Spring Heeled. The combination of a huge weight (11-9), a mulish effort last time out and poor stable form (Culloty hasn’t had a winner in over a year) makes Lord Windermere very difficult to support for such a high class race.

Horse Age: 9
Trainer: Jim Culloty
Jockey: Brian OConnell
Horse Star Sign: Pisces
Horse Trained at: Ireland
Jockey Silks Colour: Purple

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Owega Star
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Owega Star performed with credit last season in his novice year over fences, winning twice and finishing placed in a Grade Three event at Tipperary. Peter Fahey’s gelding has kept up the good work this season with quality performances in a couple of big handicap chases in Ireland. The first of those good performances was in the 50k Troytown Chase at Navan where he finished second to the well handicapped Ballabriggan after getting badly hampered early in the race. Following Navan he finished fifth in the ultra competitive Paddy Power at Leopardstown, a race where the form appears to be working out exceptionally well. On the back of those two good runs he was next made favourite for the Leinster National at Naas but put in a disappointing effort where his jumping was ragged and he eventually finished a well beaten sixth. It could just have been that he needed that run at Naas as he had been off the track for over two months but it was still a puzzling effort. Owega Star does have form on good ground but it has to be said that his best form is on a soft surface and he looks unlikely to get the sort of ground at Aintree. Stamina must also be taken on trust as the furthest he has raced is just over three miles but he will be near the foot of the weights and as a relatively unexposed contender he is sure to pick up some each-way support.

Horse Age: 8
Trainer: Peter Fahey
Jockey: Robbie Power
Horse Star Sign: Aries
Horse Trained at: Ireland
Jockey Silks Colour: Blue

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Rubi Light
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Rubi Light has had a busy career so far with thirty-nine races under Rules with twenty-seven of those races coming over fences. However only two of those races has ever been over three miles with the last of those two attempts coming at Punchestown in April 2012. It seems odd that Rubi Light has been so infrequently campaigned over three miles as his two races to now have produced a runner-up spot to Synchronised in a Lexus Chase and a fourth place to China Rock in another Grade One, the Punchestown Gold Cup. The majority of Rubi Light’s career has been spent campaigning over two and two and a half miles where he has picked up eight wins in Ireland including a Grade One chase and two races at Grade Two level. Robert Hennessy’s charge has declined in form over the last couple of years and went fifteen races without a win until his handicap mark had dropped sufficiently for the horse to pick up a couple of relatively uncompetitive handicaps at Thurles and Wexford. Rubi Light has been a magnificent servant to his connections but given the question marks about his stamina and ability to handle good ground effectively (eight of his nine career wins have come on soft or heavy ground) it is difficult to see him making an impact in a Grand National.

Horse Age: 10
Trainer: Robert Alan Hennessy
Jockey: Andrew Lynch
Horse Star Sign: Pisces
Horse Trained at: Ireland
Jockey Silks Colour: Blue

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Portrait King
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Portrait King could well appeal as an attractively priced longshot in the Grand National given his good previous form in contests where stamina is at a premium and his ability to perform on all manner of ground conditions. Maurice Barnes’ grey gelding has the following form figures in races over three and a half miles or further: 2110420. The last of those runs was in this season’s Eider Chase but it could pay to overlook that effort as Portrait King was badly hampered on a couple of occasions and did not jump as well as he does normally. That effort must have been especially disappointing for connections as he had previously won that race three seasons earlier and had dropped to a handicap mark where he could well have played a hand in the finish once again. The concern with Portrait King could be that his best form has been just under this level and on the one occasion he moved into a Class One Handicap (a Scottish National) he failed to make any impact. Whilst it’s true that horses with proven stamina have been coming to the fore of recent Grand Nationals those winners have all had a bit of speed about them as well but Portrait King tends to grind out his results and could get tapped for speed, especially if the field goes very fast early on as has tended to be the case over the last couple of seasons.

Horse Age: 10
Trainer: Maurice Phelan
Jockey: Davy Condon
Horse Star Sign: Aries
Horse Trained at: Ireland
Jockey Silks Colour: White

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25/05/15 06:01:01