Any Second Now favourite for 2019 Irish Grand National


The Irish Grand National takes place on Monday 22 April and Any Second Now is currently trading as favourite to win the prestigious race at Fairyhouse.

The seven-year-old will be off a mark of eleven stones, with the horse having won the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, obliging at odds of 6/1 on that occasion.

Any Second Now is trained by Ted Walsh and is sure to have some stiff opposition for the big race, although English Grand National winner Tiger Roll is not expected to make an appearance despite holding an entry.

Similarly, Rathvinden is unlikely to be present in Ireland considering that this horse also ran at Aintree, finishing third in the 2019 renewal of the Grand National under Ruby Walsh.

Discorama is set to take his chances and he’s another horse that ran well at the Cheltenham Festival. The six-year-old was second to Le Breuil in the National Hunt Challenge Cup when ridden by an amateur rider, getting narrowly touched off in the run-in.

The horse finished fifth when he last ran at Fairyhouse although that was over a shorter distance last season in a race won by Delta Work, with Discorama subsequently being taken over a longer distance.

Willie Mullins is unlikely to have Rathvinden although the Irish trainer is likely to run Pairofbrowneyes in the race and the ten-year-old will have to contend with 11-5 on the weight stakes.

The top weight for the race is currently The Storyteller off a mark of 11-10, with Gordon Elliott saddling the eight-year-old and the trainer of Tiger Roll will have several horses in the race as was the case at Aintree.

That includes Delta Work, Dounikos and Jury Duty, although it’s not immediately clear as to which horses will be taking their chances on Easter Monday.

Jury Duty seems a fairly likely runner considering the horse unseated his rider at Aintree. Therefore, the gelding didn’t have to endure the lion’s share of the four-mile course and might now have a big chance under Robbie Power.

Meanwhile, Joseph O’Brien has four entries left standing ahead of the race, with the young trainer optimistic that he’ll have a quartet against the field when the final declarations are made.

Arkwrisht looks like the most likely winner of the four, with the nine-year-old having looked massively in contention in the same race twelve months ago before getting hampered at the final fence.

That led to the horse finishing sixth in the end, although conditions seem set fair for the runner to go close this time around and the trainer thinks that his charge will come on from a recent run at Cheltenham.

“Arkwrisht, Vieux Morvan, Slowmotion and Shady Operator would be the ones we have for the Irish National — although the last two mightn’t get in,” said O’Brien.

“Arkwrisht was a bit unlucky in it last year, and if he came back to that run he would have a chance.

“He would have been right there only for being hampered at the last. He is a good jumper and only fell out of tiredness at Cheltenham on his last start.”

Our idea of a likely winner is Tout Est Permis which runs in the Gigginstown colours although the trainer is Noel Meade rather than Gordon Elliott and this horse won’t have been at a racetrack for three months.

The six-year-old is bidding for a fourth consecutive win, with the horse obliging as favourite back in January when beating Sub Lieutenant at Thurles over two miles and four furlongs.

Last autumn, there were also successes. Three miles on good ground seemed to suit the horse at Navan and that came off the back of a soft ground victory at Galway, with the horse clearly a progressive sort that merits respect.

As we get closer to the race, we will see the field narrow down to the correct number of runners and it’s worth paying attention to the going, although this Boylesports-sponsored race is one that fires the imagination in England and Ireland.