The Irish Grand National on Bank Holiday Monday is one of the feature races to be held at Fairyhouse across the Irish jumps season and ahead of the great contest we have a nice priced ante-post selection.
The Denise Foster trained runner is yet to get off the mark over fences this term having been switched from hurdles in October, but has showed signs that he is very close to winning a staying handicap chase and we think this race offers a perfect opportunity for him.
The son of Shantou made his chase debut at Limerick in October and he managed to finish a fair third of eight over 2m6f.
He was quickly turned around and sent to Punchestown over a similar trip and this time he finished another fair fourth behind Grade One winner Latest Exhibition.
The seven year old then went back to Punchestown for his next two runs and was not at his best finishing fifth of seven in a Grade Two and then another fifth in a Beginners Chase.
With it looking like this horse was a lost cause, he gave a career best performance over fences two starts ago at Punchestown over 3m1f when a narrow second to Longhouse Poet in a Beginners Chase.
It was now time for him to go into handicap company having acquired himself a very handy mark and he put that to use when a narrow second to stablemate Coko Beach in the Thyestes Handicap Chase.
After this impressive performance the Gigginstown owned gelding was well punted on to head to the Cheltenham festival and was the 4/1 favourite for the Kim Muir Handicap Chase before being pulled out.
It was announced he was being saved for this race and it looks a superb decision, being on a handy mark of 140, getting weight off most of the field and showing to date that he will enjoy a staying trip.