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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Brian Flanagan

Best friends with names steeped in racing history line-up in Irish Grand National

Two university friends and amateur jockeys with names steeped in Irish racing history line-up for today's Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse

Best pals and Trinity College students Pat Taaffe and Harry Swan were not born when their fathers and grandfathers were winning the annual Easter highlight - but both will be well aware of the huge tradition they carry into today's race.

Taaffe's grandfather also named Pat won the race six times on the likes of Arkle and Flyingbolt while his dad Tom was successful in 1987 on Brittany Boy.

Swan's dad Charlie was best associated with Istabraq but won the Irish Grand National in 1993 on Ebony Jane while his great grandfather Tim Hyde also won in 1938 and 1942.

The 19-year-old pair, who also share a house together, both ride for Gordon Elliott in today's €500,000 showpiece.

Swan partners' Fakir D'alene while Taaffe rides Battleoverdoyen in a race where Elliott saddles an incredible 10 of the 28 runners, with Samcro and Lieutenant Command non-runners.

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