3 each-way shots you should consider in the Irish Grand National

Thirty runners go to post at Fairyhouse this afternoon — and we’re hoping for another surprise winner.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

THE IRISH GRAND National has been a happy hunting ground for outsiders in recent years.

Who could have predicted that 50/1 shot Liberty Counsel would give trainer Dot Love and jockey Ben Dalton a famous win here last year?

Twelve months earlier, it was 33/1 shot Lion na Bearnai who upset the odds to claim the €141,000 first prize.

There are plenty of strong fancies at the head of the market but we’ve tried to pick out a few at odds of 20/1 or bigger that could give you a run for your money.

The strategy paid dividends when we tipped up Aintree Grand National winner Pineau de Re a fortnight ago. We’re not making any promises this time though.

Odds correct at the time of writing.

Rogue Angel (20/1)

Only two six-year-olds have won this race in the last 40 years but Gigginstown’s Rogue Angel looks to have a very good chance of adding his name to the list.

He shapes like a stayer and proved as much at Cheltenham last month when he was seventh in a blanket finish to the Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase over four miles.

He finished a distant fourth when dropped back in trip for a Grade 2 at Limerick (heavy) but the drying ground will suit and with jockey Kevin Sexton claiming five off an already attractive mark, he has to be considered.

Saoirse Dun (25/1)

If this race was run on last season’s form, you can guarantee that Philip Rothwell’s contender would not be a 25/1 shot. He picked up place money in a string of handicap chases behind decent opposition, although it is worth nothing that practically all of those runs came on ground that was soft or worse.

After nearly a full year off the track, he returned in February and finished sixth in the Grand National trial at Punchestown won by Folsom Blue (who reopposes today).

He’s right at the bottom of the card, carrying just 10 stone with jockey Andrew Ring taking off another seven pound. If the drying ground suits, he could feature.

Lion na Bearnai (33/1)

Maybe this is a sentimental bet as much but the 2012 winner, returning now as a 12-year-old, deserves a mention at the very least.

There were plenty willing to tip him up for the Aintree Grand National last month but the chaotic start, as well as a slipped saddle, cost him any chance and saw him pulled up before the finish.

Trainer Tom Gibney seemed quite sweet on him that day so, provided the run wasn’t too much of a drain, there’s no reason why he can’t challenge.

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Niall Kelly

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