Eamonn Hames guides you through the racing from Fairyhouse and Cork on Monday
OUR DUKE can take high rank and give trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey of the moment Robbie Power their first Irish National (5.00).
The ever popular duo have had a season to remember with Harrington not only winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sizing John, but topping off that lifetime dream by landing another two Festival races to make it a hat-trick of victories in total.
CLAIM YOUR FREE £10 BET WITH SUN BETS
Both jockey and stable are in red-hot form and they have a huge chance of landing the richest-ever renewal of the Irish National with their hotpot favourite Our Duke.
Novices have a great record in the race and the seven-year-old has everything to suggest he could prove to be a worthy favourite.
He’s already a Grade 1 winner over fences and looks for all the world as if he could develop into a Gold Cup horse next season.
If that last comment is anywhere near accurate, then he will be winning this off a mark of 153.
Conor McGregor arrives in style at Aintree for the Grand National after getting a private jet AND a Rolls Royce
KATE’S ALL HEART
Augusta Kate beats favourite Let’s Dance in the Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final
Smart sprinter Limato set to head straight to the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June
DANDY’S A GENIUS
Retiring trainer Dandy Nicholls labelled a “genius” by son and former jockey Adrian
Joseph O’Brien’s Edwulf set to make a full recovery after he collapsed at the Cheltenham Festival
WON FOR ARTHUR
One for Arthur wins Grand National after jockey Derek Fox returns from broken wrist and collarbone
Gordon Elliott is set to send a big team to the Punchestown Festival later this month
YORK CAN STRIKE AGAIN
Top Tipster Eamonn Hames’ best horse racing tips for Sunday’s racing from Fairyhouse and Cork
The record of horses carrying big weights is pretty dire, but Our Duke looks a different class of horse.
One that you would rarely see dropped in class for a handicap and if he’s as good as he has looked this season, then it should be a straightforward race for a trainer and jockey who can do nothing wrong at the moment.
If Willie Mullins manages to win this, then it will add an extra spice to Punchestown next week with the title still all to play for.
His trio have fair chances, but Paul Townend’s mount Arbre De Vie could be the one to give the selection most to do. He has a lovely racing weight and has always promised plenty once upped in trip.
Monday’s Fairyhouse tips
- 2.45 Jezki
- 3.15 Ex Patriot (nb)
- 3.50 Chain Gang
- 4.25 Sutton Place
- 5.00 Our Duke (nap)
- 5.35 Westerner Lady
- 6.10 Undressed
- 6.40 Samcro
The first-time hood should help him relax and if anything, the handicapper has given him a right chance over fences compared to his hurdles mark.
Mullins’ rival in the battle to be champion trainer, Gordon Elliott, has dominated the entries in his quest for a first win in this prestigious race. There is a lot to like about the chances of many of his, especially Noble Endeavour and Tiger Roll, but it is another of his that looks worth a go at rewarding odds.
Tell Us More may not have been a yard further than two and a half miles since winning his Point, but he has always been well regarded by connections and this huge step up in trip could be what he has needed all along.
Girl Power could be upon us if Abolitionist can repeat his Leinster National win here for the trainer and rider team of Ellmarie Holden and Rachael Blackmore.
Monday’s Cork tips
- 1.50 Fair Game
- 2.20 Catamaran
- 2.55 Patrick
- 3.30 Shanklys Dawn
- 4.05 Jammin Masters
- 4.40 Darwins Fox
- 5.15 Danboru
- 5.50 Kings Dolly
The nine-year-old has been in the form of his life since switching to Holden’s Ballyhale yard, running a cracker on his stable debut and beating a few of the main fancies here when second in the Troytown prior to his win last month at Naas.
Harry Fry does well here with his raiders and this has been the place for Fletchers Flyer ever since his fluent win at the Punchestown Festival last season, last year’s beaten favourite Bonny Kate is always a threat in these marathon events and Mouse Morris could have leading claims if Alpha Des Obeaux has bounced back from the physical issues that have seen him bleed the last twice.