Timeform Irish SmartPlays: Monday 22 April

Fairyhouse racecourse
Monday's feature is the Irish Grand National, which is due off at 17:00

Timeform pick out their three best bets on Irish Grand National day at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday...

"...it isn't out of the question that he can improve further this afternoon."

Timeform on Snow Falcon

Wicklow Brave - Fairyhouse 15:50

Willie Mullins has won the last two renewals of the Strawberry Hurdle, and he could well complete the hat-trick here with Wicklow Brave. The ten-year-old went like the best horse at the weights when an excellent and agonising second in last month's Coral Cup at Cheltenham, running right up to his best, and while he isn't always the most reliable now a ten-year-old, a repeat run would see him take this. Off You Go proved that he belongs in graded company when chasing home Tiger Roll in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan last time, and considering how well that form has worked out, he's a big threat.

Snow Falcon - Fairyhouse 16:20

The majority of this field have had busy seasons, meaning it looks worth siding with Noel Meade's Snow Falcon, who arrives here fresh. He made short work of a Grade 2 contest when last seen at Down Royal back in November, and considering the progress he made in such a short space of time in the autumn, it isn't out of the question that he can improve further this afternoon. Ordinary World and The Storyteller are feared most, in that order.

Burrows Saint - Fairyhouse 17:00

Today's Irish Grand National is fiercely competitive - you wouldn't expect anything less - but Burrows Saint makes plenty of appeal for Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins. He's been well found in the market this morning, and was suited by the step up to 3m+ when picking up a Grade 3 contest at Limerick at the end of March, giving the impression that he will be even better over today's extra five furlongs. He is one of the most unexposed runners in the field, and as such it's highly likely there's more to come from him yet. Indeed, he doesn't have to find too much on Timeform ratings to have a leading chance, 2 lb with Shady Operator to be precise, and in a year that Willie Mullins finally ended his wait for a win in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, he can do likewise here by winning his first Irish National.

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