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Gaillard Du Mesnil heads 51 in Irish National reckoning

Ante-post favourites Gaillard Du Mesnil, Farclas and Max Flamingo top 51 horses in contention for the 150th running of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Monday.

Gordon Elliott is responsible for 16 of the acceptors at the forfeit stage with 8-1 chance Farclas, who bypassed the Randox Grand National, heading a strong Gigginstown House Stud team that includes beaten Aintree runners Run Wild Fred and Death Duty.

Last year’s runner-up Run Wild Fred, who was sent off at 8-1 for the Aintree marathon following significant late support, exited at the Canal Turn on the first circuit last Saturday, along with Death Duty.

However, while there is no place in the €500,000 race for Samcro, who finished tailed off in 11th at Aintree, Mount Ida could also be among the final Cullentra contingent after unseating at the first.

One of four Willie Mullins-trained horses standing their ground, Gaillard Du Mesnil remains the clear 6-1 favourite with the sponsors for the three-mile-and-five-furlong handicap following his fine third to L’Homme Presse in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.

The champion trainer, who saddled the first three home as he won the race for a first time with Burrows Saint in 2019, might also be represented by joint-top weight Franco De Port, but the trainer’s Stones And Roses and Recite A Prayer look set to miss the cut.

The 30 highest-rated horses are each guaranteed a run when the declarations are made on Friday, with potentially three reserves making the final line-up if there are any non-runners announced before 10am on Sunday.

Lucinda Russell has omitted impressive Ultima scorer Corach Rambler, with assistant trainer Peter Scudamore revealing: “We have decided to go to Sandown for the bet365 Gold Cup, if the ground is good to soft. He has come out of Cheltenham better than he went into the race, but we’ll only run if the ground is sufficiently soft enough for him.”

Max Flamingo stands his ground at Fairyhouse
Max Flamingo stands his ground at Fairyhouse (Niall Carson/PA)

The Francis Casey-trained Max Flamingo was a handicap hurdle winner on the same card a year ago and stands his ground along with other leading contenders who include Noel Meade’s School Boy Hours and Diol Ker, and Matthew Smith’s Ronald Pump.

Minella Times, the 2021 Aintree hero, was brought down at the ninth in last week’s National and he shares top weight with Franco De Port, while Henry De Bromhead could also saddle Full Time Score.

Ciaran Murphy’s Enjoy D’allen, who unseated at the first at Aintree, the William Durkan-trained Screaming Colours and Joseph O’Brien’s Early Doors are certain to make the cut.

Peter Roe, general manager of Fairyhouse, said: “We are delighted with the strength in depth of the horses remaining in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National, with last year’s Aintree Grand National winner Minella Times heading the weights.

“The ground is currently yielding, good to yielding in places with scattered showers forecast over the next few days.”

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