Irish Grand National tips – Ark one for your Wrisht list

Irish Grand National tips – Ark one for your Wrisht list


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Betting Tip: @ Arkwrisht each-way @ 25/1 with paddypower

While Our Duke took a few quid out of bookmakers’ satchels 12 months ago, the Irish Grand National has been an Easter gift for the layers with six of the last ten winners returned at 20/1 or bigger.

And it’s not just punters who have been having a hard time of it as Ireland’s two powerhouse stables have a forgettable record: Willie Mullins has never won it and is 0-23 since 2008, while Gordon Elliott is 0-20 in that time.

The former trainer will surely put that right before too long and it might be this year as two of his four representatives head the betting, with Pairofbrowneyes, who won the Leinster National in similarly testing conditions on his first start for the stable, currently just preferred to stablemate Bellshill. The latter horse enjoyed the perfect prep when winning a Grade 3 over this course in February, albeit the 8lb penalty he picked up in the process means he has 11st 5lb to carry.

That could be a real stopper to his chances as Our Duke was only the third winner in 20 years to carry more than 11st to victory and he’s bordering on Gold Cup class. The next four home last year all carried no more than 10st 7lb and when you also consider that only two winners in the last decade were rated north of 137, it makes Bellshill’s task look even tougher off 158.

At least he’s the right age at eight as older horses have tended to struggle – eight of the last ten winners were no older than eight from just over half the runners – with seven-year-olds doing best with four winners in that time. Five of Gordon Elliott’s 13-strong brigade fit that particular bill and the pick of the quintet is arguably Monbeg Notorious, the winner of his last three starts, including when beating a good field at Gowran Park in January.

I wouldn’t put anyone off having a few quid on him at bet365’s 10/1, if only as a saver, but the one that really catches my eye further down the weights is Joseph O’Brien’s ARKWRISHT, an eight-year-old with just 9st 12lb on his back and the mount of Rachel Blackmore.

He showed he had the right qualities for this when narrowly beaten in the Kerry National back in September, which was unlucky as a slight mistake two out caused his rider to lose his irons and he was unable to retrieve the situation. The way he ran on from the last puts him down as a strong stayer with a change of gears and he clearly relished the heavy ground too.

Whilst he hasn’t matched that sort of form in five runs since, he has been freshened up for this, having had just one start since his return from a break, finishing seventh over an inadequate 2m4f at Naas. That run was clearly needed and it was to his credit that he still looked a big player until being headed two out, after which his rider looked after him.

He’s one of 12 Gigginstown-owned runners in the field and is their fifth-string according to the betting, but as already mentioned the market frequently gets it wrong in this race and he’s surely got a better chance than his current Paddy Power odds of 25/1 would suggest, with six places up for grabs.


Arkwrisht each-way @ 25/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds,

Betting Tip: @ Arkwrisht each-way @ 25/1 with paddypower

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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