The €500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National, held at Fairyhouse Racecourse, is the blue-riband event at the Easter Festival and is held on Easter Monday every year. The 2020 running of the race will take place on Monday April 13, with over 30,000 people expected to descend on the track over the three-day meeting.
The race is run over a stamina-sapping three miles and five-furlong trip with 24 fences to be jumped in the process, including two in the home straight before the run-in over the final furlong.
Willie Mullins won the Irish Grand National for the first time in 2019 and completed a 1-2-3 with Burrows Saint leading the way for Ruby Walsh and Rich Ricci ahead of Isleofhopendreams and Acapella Bourgeois.
€270,000 is the prize given to the winning Irish Grand National owners, with Gigginstown House Stud - who have recently announced they are winding down their racing operation - taking home that pot in three of the last five years with Thunder And Roses (2015), Rogue Angel (2016) and General Principle (2018). The 2017 Irish Grand National meanwhile was taken by Our Duke for jockey Robbie Power and trainer Jessica Harrington.
The Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup is the other major highlight at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival, with the race over two miles and four furlongs limited to novice chasers and taking place on Easter Sunday.
With a total prize fund of €100,000, the race often attracts the elite middle-distance novice chasers of the season, as the Punchestown Festival only has novice Grade 1 races at two and three miles.
The race usually throws up several top-class horses to follow, including Al Boum Photo who took the race in 2018 for Paul Townend and Willie Mullins before winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2019. The mighty three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup hero and 1964 Irish Grand National winner Arkle was victorious in this race back in 1963 while 1974 Gold Cup winner Captain Christy took first place earlier that year.