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JJ Slevin onboard General Principle after the victory.
JJ Slevin onboard General Principle after the victory.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

There was a thrilling photo finish in the Irish Grand National

20/1 shot General Principle handed trainer Gordon Elliott his first victory in the race at Fairyhouse today.
Apr 2nd 2018, 6:30 PM 9,851 4

GORDON ELLIOTT CLAIMED his first Irish Grand National this afternoon thanks to General Principle.

The Meath trainer had 13 of the 30 runners in today’s showcase at Fairyhouse, and the 20-1 shot came up trumps, but only after a dramatic finish.

Ridden by JJ Slevin, General Principle, who finished fifth in the same race 12 months ago, won the €275,000 prize by pipping the Willie Mullins-trained Isleofhopendreams (16/1) on the line.

Forever Gold (20/1) was third, while Folsom Blue (11/1) took fourth after Bellshill was demoted for causing interference with others at the last.

We ran 13 and General Principle wasn’t one of our leading candidates,” Elliott told the Racing Post.

“He ran okay in the race last year and then lost his way. JJ gave him a smashing ride. It’s unbelievable to win an Irish National at last. We were under a far bit of pressure but the result has made it a great day.”

Earlier in the day, evens-favourite Getabird put a disappointing Cheltenham Festival behind him to take the Novice Hurdle from Draconien (16/1) and Hardline (6/1), while Coquin Mans (7/1) was the winner in the Hurdle, with Diamond Cauchois (7/2F) and Let’s Dance (12/1) second and third respectively.

In the Chase, Un De Sceaux (5/6F) got back to winning ways for Mullins and Paul Townsend — seeing off A Toi Phil (12/1) and Ballycasey (25/1).

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