Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins dominate Grand National field

The two trainers will have a combined 17 of the 30 declared runners at Fairyhouse

A view of the field at the start of last year’s Boylesports Irish Grand National. Photograph: Inpho

A view of the field at the start of last year’s Boylesports Irish Grand National. Photograph: Inpho

 

Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins dominate the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Monday, with 17 of the 30 declared runners provided by the duo.

The pair are once again embroiled in a fascinating tussle to become champion trainer in Ireland, with Elliott aiming to break Mullins’ monopoly on the title and fielding the numerically stronger hand.

Last year’s battle went right down to the wire, with Mullins staging a late rally, and the €270,000 on offer to the winner for the Easter Monday highlight -which neither Elliott or Mullins have yet won — will go a long way to deciding who prevails.

Elliott’s main hopes among his 13 are Folsom Blue, who won the trial for this race, and Monbeg Notorious, the Thyestes hero.

He also runs the top weight Outlander, Dounikos, Lord Scoundrel, Tell Us More, Jetstream Jack, The Paparrazi Kid, General Principle, Bless The Wings, Sutton Manor, Squouateur and Woods Well

Mullins’ big hope is Bellshill, winner of the Bobbyjo Chase. He would have been better off at the weights in the Grand National at Aintree, but Mullins has kept him at home this year.

Pairofbrowneyes, who won the Leinster National on his first start for Mullins, is another major player, while Kemboy and Isleofhopeanddreams complete his quartet.

Noel Meade has two chances with Snow Falcon and Moulin A Vent, with the Pat Kelly-trained Mall Dini another leading contender having finished second in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham.

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