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Irish Grand National predictions, betting tips, odds and free bets (Fairyhouse - Easter Monday - 28.3.2016)

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The Irish Grand National is Ireland’s most valuable chase and is traditionally run at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday over the marathon trip of 3m5f. It is not only the shortest of the nationals, but also features the most obstacles, with horses required to clear 25 fences during the course of the race. Some excellent horses are entered this year thanks to a prize-fund of €275,000! Find here our Irish Grand National betting preview with tips, predictions, trends, odds, free bets and no deposit bonuses!

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BONNY KATE is unexposed both over the trip and in handicaps, and remains with plenty of potential as a chaser. This horse saw out three and a half miles well at Punchestown on her handicap debut in January.  Instead of Cheltenham, however, Bonny Kate was sent out to win a Grade 2 at Limerick on the weekend before

VENITIEN DE MAI won the Leinster National and he looks the type to progress again as his stamina is drawn out and may well have more to offer given his profile, though he is up 10 lb in the weights from that Naas win.

MALA BEACH looked set to win the Bobbyjo Chase when he fell at the second last. Prior to that race, he was travelling well when making a bad mistake in the Thyestes Chase.

Jonjo O’Neill saddles ANOTHER HERO and is much improved since switching to fences this season. He won on his chasing debut at Ascot and then defied a 6lb rise with a victory at Ludlow.

Big things will be expected from CAUSE OF CAUSES. He is certainly worth backing if declared, largely on the back of his emphatic recent victory during the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup by 12 lengths. He certainly has the legs for a race of this distance.

KILLER CROW was far from disgraced when 4 ¼ lengths second of 11 to Pairofbrowneyes at Limerick on December and the following month he ran well when 2 and half lengths second of 11 to subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner Empire Of Dirt in the prestigious Leopardstown Handicap Chase.

The Liam Burke-trained MY MURPHY beat Mala Beach in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January and has intentionally been kept fresh for this. He ran an encouraging race when sixth to Balbriggan in the Troytown Chase in November of that year but was then a disappointing mid-division in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas 2014.

SUB LIEUTENANT makes his eighth run of the season in the 2016 Irish Grand National. The Sandra Hughes ran well for a long way in a tactical Grade 2 contest at Naas on January, eventually fading to finish 6 lengths last of 3 to Roi Des Francs and Pont Alexandre. A month later he lined-up for the Grade 2 Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan, finishing 34 lengths fourth of 6 to Measureofmydreams. He got off the mark over fences in early March when beating Tell Us More by 2 lengths in a Naas Grade 3 contest.

Last year’s winner THUNDER AND ROSES hasn’t really sparked since last year's success. He was a well-beaten 5th behind Boston Bob in the Bobbyjo Chase last time out and is 9lbs higher than last year.

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BAIE DES ILES finished a respectable six lengths behind the impressive Bonny Kate at Punchestown and running on firmer ground this time may allow the grey mare to close this gap between the two of them.

BLESS THE WINGS clearly has the staying power, and his recent placing when third of 16 over a furlong further than the Fairyhouse trip – in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham earlier this month, behind Any Currency and Josie’s Orders – is an indicator of that.

FOLSOM BLUE might be worth a few shillings at a big price. He was 5th in the 2014 edition when in the care of Conor O’Dwyer and his 3rd in the Paddy Power over Christmas entitles him to go close. Poor twice since he may just need to have been freshened up a little having been kept busy after a long spell on the sidelines.

RUSSE BLANC was a gallant winner of the Classic Chase at Warwick in January but was then unseated in the Eider Chase a month later. Prior to that he was a 20/1 winner at Warwick, beating a tough field at the three mile, five furlong Betfred Classic Chase.

ROGUE ANGEL ran 27 lengths 6 of 16 to Sadler’s Risk in the Munster National at Limerick a month later, before pulling up in the Cork National in November. After a break he reappeared at Leopardstown in late February and ran 10 ½ lengths fourth of 13 to Colms Dream.

CANTLOW ran well in the Irish Grand National last April to finish 16 ½ lengths 6  of 28 to Thunder And Roses, but ran poorly over hurdles at the Galway Festival and fell in the Kerry National in September. At the end of January Cantlow had his first taste of cross-country action at Punchestown – and ran very well to finish 4 ¼ lengths second of 12 to Ballyboker Bridge. He then headed to Cheltenham for the Glenfarclas Chase last week, but ran a disappointing race, coming home a very remote 11

CAPTAIN VON TRAPPE finished 38 lengths sixth of 7 to No More Heroes in the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse. He then contested the always competitive Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and pulled up. A month later he contested the Grand National Trial at Punchestown, finishing 40 lengths fifth of 9 to Bonny Kate. He recently contested the Leinster National at Naas but finished tailed off behind Venitien De Mai.

KILFORD showed improvement when second of 10 to Topper Thornton at Down Royal in early February and later that month emphatically beat Embracing Change by 27 lengths at Navan. He made it back to back victories at that track when defeating Oscar Knight by 9 and half lengths in a novices’ handicap chase in mid-March.

RAZ DE MAREE put in a big run to finish 9 lengths second of 16 to Goonyella in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter in March of last year and then pulled up in the Scottish Grand National last April. He has made just one start since then, finishing a well beaten fifth of 8 to Sonny B in a handicap hurdle at Cork in mid-March.

WRATH OF TITANS finished 28 lengths last of 4 to the top class No More Heroes in the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown. His latest start came in a novices’ handicap chase at Naas in late February, where he came home 25 lengths fourth of 9 to Marlbrook.

LIVING NEXT DOOR has shown very little in the past 16 months while PORTRAIT KING is too slow on this ground.

Other possible contenders are FUTURAMIC, UNIC DE BERSY, JAROB and TULSA JACK. Very few chances for outsiders such as BEARLY LEGAL, RIVERSIDE CITY, DEFINITE RUBY and BALLYADAM APPROACH.

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