Jim Dreaper hoping for Midlands Grand National glory with Goonyella

Goonyella looks to be ideal candidate for a four-mile-plus marathon on heavy ground

Jim Dreaper: the Co Dublin trainer’s National record over the decades includes the sole Irish trained winner of a Welsh Grand National – Notre Pere – and four in his local Fairyhouse version. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Jim Dreaper: the Co Dublin trainer’s National record over the decades includes the sole Irish trained winner of a Welsh Grand National – Notre Pere – and four in his local Fairyhouse version. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

Forty years after Ten Up’s famous Gold Cup success, Jim Dreaper skipped the delights of Cheltenham and instead now sets his big race sights on Uttoxeter’s Midlands Grand National with Goonyella.

The Co Dublin trainer’s National record over the decades includes the sole Irish trained winner of a Welsh Grand National – Notre Pere – and four in his local Fairyhouse version.

But in Goonyella, a horse Dreaper once described as never having finished a race tired, he looks to have the ideal candidate for a four-mile-plus marathon on heavy ground where he will joined by another Irish hopeful in Raz De Mareee.

GVA Ireland in 2006 was the last Irish trained winner of the Uttoxeter feature.

Hugely promising

Willie MullinsVroum Vroum Mag

The €47,500 pot looks ripe for the ex-French star to stretch her unbeaten record in Ireland to four while the earlier Grade Three Shannon Spray Novice Hurdle should see Lyrical Theatre regain winning form after her admirable second to Morning Run at Fairyhouse last month.

Kate Appleby Shoes won by 34 lengths on last start at Gowran so heavy ground at Limerick today shouldn’t be an issue.

Considering Navan’s Sunday feature is €50,000 novice handicap chase, a field of seven is disappointing although Tony Martin won’t be complaining.

He runs Heathfield who looked slightly unlucky when just edged out by Bishops Road at Leopardstown after Bryan Cooper on the winner inadvertently struck him across the head during the closing stages.

Fine Article chased home Roi De Francs at Clonmel in a Grade Three and can confirm that form with Wrath Of Titans in the novice hurdle.

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