Wounded Warrior to carry top weight for Irish Grand National

Connections of Fairyhouse favourite Gallant Oscar are keen on going for Aintree instead

Wounded Warrior has been left with top-weight after 45 horses were left in the Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday following the latest forfeit stage.

Noel Meade's six-year-old was third to Don Poli in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham and would be making his first appearance in a handicap over fences should he take his chance.

Tony McCoy, who will be riding for the final time in Ireland before he retires, will have the choice of a number of JP McManus-owned contenders including If In Doubt, trained by Philip Hobbs, and the Paul Webber-trained Cantlow.

Antepost favourite Gallant Oscar stands his ground but connections of the Tony Martin-trained gelding are keen on going for the Aintree Grand National instead if he can get a place in the maximum 40-strong field.


Other leading fancies in line for Fairyhouse include Grand Jesture, trained by Henry de Bromhead, Colm Murphy's Empire Of Dirt, Robert Tyner's Embracing Change, the Dermot McLoughlin-trained Vics Canvas and Los Amigos from Jim Dreaper's stable. Champion trainer Willie Mullins has left in Perfect Gentleman and Dogora as he bids to win the race for the first time.

Lord Windermere

Robbie McNamara, meanwhile, has been booked to ride top-weight

Lord Windermere

in the Aintree Grand National on Saturday week.

Last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup hero will attempt to become the first horse to go on and win the Grand National since L'Escargot added the Merseyside showpiece in 1975 to his two wins in the blue riband in 1970-71. McNamara, who turned professional in November after being a top amateur rider, has partnered Lord Windermere once in public before.

That was in the Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase at Leopardstown in February 2013, when they finished a close third to Boston Bob.

It will be his second ride in the world’s greatest steeplechase after Majestic Concorde got as far as the Canal Turn on the final circuit in 2011.

‘Great ride’

Like Majestic Concorde, Lord Windermere carries the colours of Dr

Ronan Lambe

, who is also likely to represented in the National by Spring Heeled.

“It’s a great ride to get and I’m looking forward to it,” said McNamara.

"I've ridden him before in a Grade One in Leopardstown and I was supposed to ride him in the Hennessy there as well, but I broke my collarbone the day before. I'm delighted to get back on him."