Punchestown Grand National Trial Should Give Aintree Clues

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Punchestown races 2009. Photo Credit: Wiki Commons. Gordon Flood from Trim, Ireland [CC BY 2.0]

Punchestown have been forced to postpone their card this afternoon which was set to include the BoyleSports Grand National Trial Handicap Chase. A number of Grand National entries were down to have their latest outing.

The Irish course announced that the meeting will be rearranged for the near future which will give many Grand National hopefuls the chance to show their credentials ahead of Aintree.

The winner of this race will gain an entry into the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse later this season, while they will also pick up ?59,000 in prize money for their connections.

Former National runner-up Pleasant Company in the field

Pleasant Company is the highest-rated horse in the Grand National Trial and as a result will need to concede weight to the rest of the field.

The 12-year-old finished second in the 2018 Grand National, just a head behind Tiger Roll, but his form since then has been way below his best.

Willie Mullins’ runner unseated Paul Townend in the Aintree feature last April four fences from home when he was at the front end of the field.

The Irish horse is 33/1* to go one place better in the Grand National later this season but for now connections will be hoping to see some spark back in their horse on his return back to fences.

Roaring Bull looking to enhance his reputation

Roaring Bull has done a good job of enhancing his reputation over fences this season. He has emerged as a horse who would have a lively chance in the Grand National if he lined up on Merseyside.

Gordon Elliott’s chaser was successful in a 27-runner field at Leopardstown during their festive meeting. He then ran respectably well in the Grade A Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park, finishing fifth of 18 in the race which was won by Total Recall.

The seven-year-old is 50/1* in the Grand National betting with the bookmakers. He was sixth in the Irish Grand National in 2019 but looks to have improved since then. Given he is from Elliott’s yard in Ireland, he is likely to have worked with Tiger Roll over the past couple of months as preparation for the world’s most famous steeplechase.

Spider Web one of five JP McManus runners in Punchestown field

JP McManus’ famous green and gold silks will be carried by five horses in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown, including Spider Web who also holds an entry at Aintree.

The nine-year-old has scored on three occasions over fences so far but will need to improve on the form he has shown so far this season.

Spider Web was pulled up in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown back in December. He was also well held on his last run over hurdles at Fairyhouse.

Thomas Mullins’ runner is 66/1* in the Grand National betting. Those odds will likely shorten if it looks like he will be included in the final declarations.

*odds subject to change.

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