Willie Mullins’s Valseur Lido tops weights for Irish Grand National
Trainer has 17 entries for March 28th at Fairyhouse as he looks to end hoodoo in race
Valseur Lido tops the weights for this year’s Irish Grand National and is one of 17 entries for Willie Mullins. Photograph: PA
Willie Mullins is making a concerted effort to end his Irish Grand National hoodoo by entering 17 horses for the Boylesports-sponsored staying handicap chase at Fairyhouse on March 28th.
His team is headed by Grade One winner Valseur Lido, who tops the weights on 11st 10lb from a 90-strong entry for the Easter Monday showpiece.
Also among his squad are On His Own (11st 3lb), Measureofmydreams (10st 7lb) and Roi Des Francs (10st 12lb).
The first three horses home in last year’s race are engaged once again with the winner Thunder And Roses (10st 7lb) one of five possibles from Sandra Hughes’s yard.
The Mouse Morris-trained Rule The World (10st 7lb) and Jim Dreaper’s Sizing Coal (9st 9lb), who were second and third, could try again.
Dreaper has another hopeful in the novice Venitien De Mai (9st 13lb), who booked his ticket for Easter Monday by winning the Leinster National at Naas on Sunday.
Gordon Elliott is another top trainer looking for his first win in the Irish National and has entered a team of 12 including Mala Beach (10st 12lb) and recent Thurles winner Lord Scoundrel (10st 7lb).
Ireland’s richest handicap chase has attracted 11 British entries from eight different stables.
Jonjo O’Neill has three, headed by Beg To Differ 10st 4lb), as he bids to win the race for the third time after Butlers Cabin in 2007 and Shutthefrontdoor under Barry Geraghty two years ago.
Other British possibles include David Pipe’s Broadway Buffalo (10st 2lb), the Kerry Lee-trained Russe Blanc (9st 13lb) and Vivaldi Collonges (10st 4lb) from the Paul Nicholls stable.