Dreaper out to plunder more Irish Grand National glory
Jim Dreaper is launching a double assault on the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday in a bid to further enhance his family’s outstanding record in the race.
Goonyella and Los Amigos will fly the flag for Dreaper in the 3m 5f showpiece, which has been won an incredible 14 times since 1942 by horses trained by him and his father Tom.
Tom was dubbed the “King of Fairyhouse”, winning the race nine times including seven-in-a-row in the 1960s.
Among his winners was the mightly Arkle in 1964, and it would be a dream come true for Jim if he could land the race on the 50th anniversary of his triumph.
In Goonyella and Los Amigos he has two horses who look to have solid claims of bagging the 141,000 euro first prize and providing him with his fifth win in contest.
The former failed to make the cut as a reserve for the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree, and was unlucky in the race 12 months ago when his saddle slipped early on.
The seven-year-old is an out-and-out stayer who ran well to finish fifth in the valuable Troytown Chase at Navan before finishing a highly creditable eighth of 20 to Mountainous in the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.
The son of Presenting gets into the contest off 3lb lower than at Chepstow, and he ran a very solid race when last seen in action to finish runner-up to Don Poli over hurdles at Clonmel.
He looks to have been primed for the race, and is a 12/1 chance with Coral.
Los Amigos has had just four runs over fences, winning once and finishing in the frame on three occasions.
The seven-year-old ran a stormer when chasing home subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up On His Own in the in the 18-runner Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park on his penultimate start, and backed that up with a solid third in the Leinster National at Naas last month.
He has a career-high mark of 133 to contend with now, but remains unexposed over the larger obstacles and open to stacks more improvement.
The son of Overbury is 16/1 with Coral, and although the outsider of the Draper pair is arguably the more progressive.
Coral will also be paying out on the first five (at a quarter of the odds) on each way bets on the Irish Grand National. This offer will start on Easter Sunday (April 20th) from 6pm.