Irish Grand National: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

The Irish Grand National is the feature race on Easter Monday
The Irish Grand National is the feature race on Easter Monday

The Irish Grand National is the feature race on Easter Monday and Timeform assess the credentials of each runner...

Sraid Padraig finished with running left when eighth in the Byrne Group Plate last month and could prove suited by this test.

Cantlow is a smart performer who won a 2½m Newbury handicap in November and went close at Cheltenham a couple of weeks later, but was only midfield in a 3m event over hurdles at Aintree earlier this month.

Cause of Causes is a smart performer who continues to improve over fences, runner-up in valuable handicaps at Leopardstown and Cheltenham (Kim Muir) the last twice. Steps up further in trip, but of obvious interest again.

Make A Track won a handicap at Limerick (19f) in December and has posted a pair of creditable efforts since, the latest when second in a Down Royal minor event when sporting this headgear for the first-time.

Oscars Well has proven largely disappointing over fences for Jessica Harrington and has been well held in a pair of competitive handicap hurdles for this yard. Makes his handicap chase debut in a refitted tongue tie.

Home Farm won a maiden here last February and finished third in this event 12 months ago. Has shaped well in a pair of handicaps at Leopardstown the last twice and remains one to be interested in.

Shutthefrontdoor was a winner on his chasing debut at Aintree in October and good second at Cheltenham 3 weeks later. His jumping has let him down twice at that venue since, but he switches to handicaps from a fair mark.

My Murphy was a useful hurdler and continues to progress over fences, winning a maiden here in December and putting up a smart effort to land a Navan handicap last month (both over 3m). Likeable type.

Touch The Eden didn't need to be at his best when winning a 9-runner novice chase at Navan early last month, but took a leap forward when following up in Grade 2 company at Limerick 4 weeks later. May improve again.

Lion Na Bearnai won this event 2 years ago and back on track when winning a small-field minor event here in February, but he was below form in the Bobbyjo 3 weeks later and in the Grand National earlier this month

Pendra won his first 2 starts over fences in the autumn and would have finished even closer than third in a Festival handicap last month but for jumping errors, though his stamina for this is taken on trust.

Away We Go was better than ever when winning a handicap hurdle here last February before going very close in this event 12 months ago. Not disgraced in the bet365 Gold Cup later that April, but not seen since

Letter of Credit is a two-time Thurles winner this term who arrives on the back of a pair of good runner-up efforts, most recently when behind Touch The Eden in a Limerick Grade 2. A hood is now fitted.

Mullaghanoe River won a Punchestown maiden in January and not disgraced in a Leopardstown Grade 2 2 weeks later. In the process of running well when unseating his rider 2 out at Naas last month and now blinkered.

Folsom Blue won a competitive Punchestown handicap in February and has posted largely creditable in-frame efforts in defeat since, including twice at Grade 2 level, but will need to jump better than last time.

Golden Wonder has posted a couple of useful efforts since making a winning chase bow at Galway in August, the latest when fourth in a 25f handicap here a couple of weeks ago, and this trip seems sure to suit.

Goonyella won twice over fences last term and bounced back from a rather laboured effort on heavy ground in the Welsh National to chase home Don Poli in a Grade 3 hurdle at Clonmel in February. Shortlisted.

Jamsie Hall won a veterans' event at Aintree in October, but he's been well held in a trio of competitive handicaps since, the last pair over hurdles, and others make greater appeal here.

Sraid Padraig showed marked improvement when edging out Cause of Causes here (17f) in November and shaped better than the bare result when eighth in a handicap at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Big player

Tammys Hill responded willingly to land the Foxhunters at the Cheltenham Festival last month, winning with a bit in hand, and has to be given the utmost respect now his attentions are switched to handicapping.

Los Amigos landed a maiden chase here in November and scored over the smaller obstacles at Thurles a month later. Solid second in the Thyestes Chase next time and better still when third at Naas last month.

Gallant Oscar is a fairly useful chaser who scored over hurdles at Navan in January and followed up under a hands-and-heels ride in the Leinster National last month. This will be tougher, but he has to be considered.

Toon River finally got off the mark over fences (sporting this headgear) in a maiden at Gowran last month, but this should prove to be a much more severe test of his jumping ability.

Clar Na Mionn made a winning chase debut at Roscommon last May and has posted plenty of creditable efforts in defeat since, but it'll be a surprise if he's up to winning an event as competitive as this.

Rich Revival completed a hat-trick in last year's Leinster National before losing his unblemished record over fences in this race and has another crack having run better than for a while over hurdles recently.

Rogue Angel won a Punchestown maiden on New Year's Eve with plenty in hand, but he hasn't matched that form in 3 starts since and looks up against it here.

The Westerner Boy is a winning chaser who has returned from a long absence with a pair in-frame efforts over hurdles and promises to do better still now stepping up in trip back over fences.

Alfie Sherrin won a handicap at the Cheltenham Festival in 2012 and also fourth in last year's Kim Muir. Only seen twice this term, again running with credit there last month, and no surprise if he goes close.

Daring Article won a pair of big-field Punchestown handicaps last year and went close in the valuable Leopardstown Handicap (21f) in January. Not disgraced when fourth over that C&D last month.

Heaney went in again at Clonmel (3m) in October and better than the bare result when fifth in the Munster National 10 days later. Not disgraced in Leopardstown's Paddy Power Chase in December and respected

Saoirse Dun landed a hat-trick of handicap chases in the autumn of 2012 and has been placed in 4 of 5 completed starts since, chasing home Gallant Oscar in last month's Leinster National. Could go well again.

Timeform 1-2-3:
1. Sraid Padraig
2. Goonyella
3. Heaney

Timeform View: The form of Goonyella's Clonmel second behind Don Poli has been franked by that improver's subsequent success at the Cheltenham Festival and he can go close having narrowly missed the cut for the Aintree National, but Sraid Padraig finished with running left when eighth in the Byrne Group Plate last month and could prove suited by this test. Heaney also makes some appeal at likely odds.


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