5.00 BoyleSports Irish Grand National Chase (Grade A) 3m 5f 50yds
Franco De Port: Won at Grade 1 level as a novice chaser last season and showed that he could win a big staying handicap when second to Longhouse Poet in the Thyestes.
Wasn’t quite so good off a 5lbs higher mark when fourth in the Leinster National last month and needs to better that.
Battleoverdoyen: Has shown bits of his old class this season and last week’s effort in the Topham is probably best ignored after he found himself behind from early on but it’s a leap of faith to think he might stay this far.
Run Wild Fred: Ran a cracker in this last year to finish second off a 15lbs lower mark. Has since won a Troytown and competed with credit against top novices and must have his chance again provided his relatively early Aintree exit hasn’t knocked the edge off him.
Gaillard Du Mesnil: Grade 1-winning novice hurdler who has yet to win over fences but has been progressing steadily and produced his best effort yet when third to L’Homme Presse at Cheltenham. Looks one of the foremost contenders.
Mount Ida: Recorded two very taking wins at this track and Clonmel earlier in the season. Her jumping frailties have resurfaced lately though and she lines up with a question or two to answer following a first-fence departure at Aintree.
Ronald Pump: Former Stayers’ Hurdle second who was returning to fences for the first time in over two years when second to Diol Ker in last month’s Leinster National. That run makes him a likely contender and he does like this track. Big chance.
Farclas: Won the Triumph Hurdle four years ago and has looked as good as ever over the past couple of seasons judging by a series of excellent runs in top handicaps, the most recent of which yielded a second to Run Wild Fred in November’s Troytown. Should be thereabouts.
Early Doors: Won the 2020 Galway Plate and only returned to action for the first time since then on New Year’s Eve. Has yet to produce his best since returning but hasn’t been disgraced on any of his three runs and wouldn’t be one to underestimate.
Enjoy D’Allen: Finished a splendid third in this race last year and took third the Paddy Power at Leopardstown over Christmas.
Got no further than the first at Aintree last weekend and warrants close consideration provided he is none the worse for that.
Samcro: Former dual Cheltenham winner who is not the force of old although he did show up well for a long way in the Grand National before fading to finish 11th last Saturday. This quick turnaround doesn’t look ideal.
Diol Ker: Has put things together lately as evidenced by a fine fourth in the Thyestes which was followed by a victory in last month’s Leinster National. Has to contend with a 10lbs hike and will have to deal with better ground but this stamina test is right up his street.
Screaming Colours: Has put together a string of good efforts since switching to handicap chases and enjoyed his finest hour at Uttoxeter last month when dishing out a 10l beating to Young Dev in the Midlands National. This will be tougher but his record of steady progression makes him dangerous.
Off You Go: Defeated Minella Times to win last year’s Leopardstown Chase before going to finish a very creditable sixth in this race.
His efforts this season have been very underwhelming but he is a quality handicapper and it could be unwise to dismiss him.
Death Duty: An 11-year-old who won the Grand National Trial at Punchestown in February before running quite well to take sixth in the Ultima at Cheltenham. Fell early on in last week’s National, but his two previous runs entitle him to consideration.
Max Flamingo: Won a 2m 6f handicap hurdle on this card last year and returns as a major contender following a season that has yielded some good efforts against quality novices which include one very good run at this track. Lots to like about his prospects.
Fakir D’Alene: Looked limited over hurdles but has taken very well to fences and comes here off a cracking fourth in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham.
This is tougher but decent ground and this marathon trip should be right up his street and looks an each way player.
Velvet Elvis: Promised plenty as a novice hurdler and progressed from some solid initial runs over fences to win a valuable 3m novice handicap chase at Navan last month.
This is more competitive and he will have to cope with better ground but further progress is quite likely.
School Boy Hours: Came good to win the Paddy Power at Christmas and lines off two inconclusive runs.
Pulled up relatively early on at Aintree when hampered and was just getting into contention in the Kim Muir when a bad mistake four out finished his race. Interesting.
Floueur: Never got involved when favourite for the Ultima but had previously run a good third to Death Duty in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown on his handicap debut and he also won a 2m 5f beginners’ contest here in January. Could run well if jumping holds up.
Ten Ten: Runner-up efforts in last season’s Leinster National and a valuable handicap chase at Punchestown point to his ability to land a decent pot over fences.
Pulled up on his first two chase starts this term before bouncing back with a good run over hurdles here in February and isn’t dismissed.
Lieutenant Command: Defeated Max Flamingo to win a 2m 5f beginners’ event here in November before coming up short at graded level.
However, he may well have won a Grade B novice handicap chase at Naas last time only to exit two out which suggests he is far from a forlorn hope.
Aramax: Won the Fred Winter at Cheltenham a few seasons ago and landed a beginners’ event at this track last season before some mixed efforts in handicaps. He did run well in the Galway Blazers last summer though and if he could return to that form he could have a chance.
Frontal Assault: Thorough stayer whose reasonable efforts over shorter than ideal trips on his first few outings over fences suggested he could be a major player for the Kim Muir at Cheltenham but he was never involved there and pulled up. Could bounce back but has a question or two to answer and may want slower ground.
Time To Get Up: Very lightly raced nine-year-old whose victory in last year’s Midlands National marked him out as a coming force in this sphere.
This season he has been a little underwhelming including when easily held in third in his repeat bid at Uttoxeter and he has a bit to find.
Champagne Platinum: Very smart on his day as he showed when second behind Death Duty in the Grand National trial at Punchestown in February.
He wasn’t quite so good in the Leinster National last time and there are others in the field with more convincing profiles.
Full Time Score: Very lightly raced type who marked himself out as a possible challenger for this prize when bagging a rated chase over just short of 3m here a couple of months ago. Can easily progress further after just six career outings but experience is a worry.
Mister Fogpatches: Finished third in last year’s Scottish National and won a 3m 7f handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival so stamina is of no concern.
Furthermore, he has posted a series of good efforts in quality staying handicaps throughout the season and it is not hard to envisage him playing a leading role.
Streets Of Doyen: Very smart novice hurdler and got off the mark on his chasing debut at Galway in the summer but he has struggled since then and pulled up at Cheltenham last time. He could be up against it.
Lord Lariat: Capable stayer over hurdles and fences and won two handicap earlier in the season which has propelled him into the final field for this prize.
He is comfortably held by Full Time Score on his fifth here two months ago and will now have to do much better.
Smoking Gun: Faded out of contention in the Kim Muir last time but his previous third to Full Time Score and his win in the Porterstown Chase over this course and distance in November makes him an interesting lightweight.
Scoir Mear: Won the Leinster National last year before finishing eighth in this race and has shown glimpses of form this term but at this stage of his career he might just be susceptible to a few younger rivals. First reserve.
Definite Plan: Turned in a cracking effort to win a decent 3m 1f handicap chase at Cheltenham in October. However, he has struggled badly in three runs since then and has it all to do if making the final field. Second reserve.
Alfa Mix: Formerly progressive handicap hurdler but has yet to reach those heights as a chaser. A second to Fully Charged over 2m 7f at Punchestown in November was promising but he has struggled to match that and others have more convincing profiles. Third reserve.
A case could be made for a whole host of the runners in this year’s year and a chance is taken on Mister Fogpatches. Last year’s Scottish Grand National third has posted a string of excellent efforts in good staying chases and looks well equipped for the demands of this race.
Screaming Colours is a very lightly raced type for his age and looked better than ever at Uttoxeter last month. He lines up with every chance. Off You Go hasn’t been at his best this season but if he were to recapture his best a big run should be in the offing.
Gaillard Du Mesnil boasts Grade 1 novice chasing form and must have every chance. Fakir D’Alene ran very well at Cheltenham and could be the pick of Gordon Elliott’s team.