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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Robert Hynes

Irish Grand National full result and placed horses as Paul Townend wins €500,000 race on I Am Maximus

I Am Maximus (8/1) won the 151st running of the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday under a fantastic ride from Paul Townend.

The win gave owner JP McManus his fourth success in the race, while trainer Willie Mullins was celebrating his second victory in the €500,000 contest from home after recently undergoing hip surgery.

Only six of the 27 runners finished the 3m5f race, which was run on soft ground after plenty of rain throughout the afternoon at the Meath venue.

READ MORE: Full results from Irish Grand National day at Fairyhouse

Gevrey (28/1) looked the likely winner before I Am Maximus headed him in the closing stages, while Defi Bleu (28/1) was third ahead of Dolcita (33/1) in fourth, Panda Boy (14/1) in fifth and Angels Dawn (9/1) in sixth.

Earlier on the card, Andrew McNamara’s Enjoy The Dream was a tough winner of the Donohue Marquees Juvenile Hurdle under Darragh O’Keeffe.

At 33-1 only one rival started at a bigger price in the Grade Two contest, but the grey jumped the last behind 8-11 favourite Blood Destiny and then battled him all the way up the home straight to prevail by three lengths on only her second start for new connections.

“We were running her hoping she might run into third or fourth,” said McNamara of the German-bred.

“After the third-last I thought she was going to run a lovely race and when she straightened up I thought ‘we’re in with a big shout now’.

“She only had the one run over hurdles and I thought if we’re going to lose our novice status at this time of year we may as well make it well worthwhile.

“That’s the first race she’s really had so we’ll definitely go to Punchestown, I’ll have a chat with the Dr but I’d say we’ll most likely go there.

“I’d imagine we’ll even keep going after that. I think she has a rating around 90 on the Flat and she could also have the option of going to France for the summer.

“It’s all black type and she has a residual value, but we won’t be going there for a while. She’s a big girl and will jump fences as well.”

Meanwhile, Asterion Forlonge denied Monkfish a dream return to action when winning the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hurdle.

The enigmatic winner was running over hurdles for the second time since pausing a chasing career that brought about mixed fortunes with some good performances but also several falls.

Monkfish, also trained by Willie Mullins, had been absent from the track for nearly two years due to injury but was a very highly regarded novice chaser prior to that.

Asterion Forlonge was the 11-8 favourite under Paul Townend as Monkfish went off at 11-4 and was ridden at the rear of the field by Danny Mullins.

Monkfish gave chase after the last fence and was closing as the line approached, but could not pass Asterion Forlonge and missed out by half a length.

David Casey, Mullins’ assistant, said of the grey victor: “We’re delighted with him, he improved plenty for his run in Thurles and I think he’ll improve plenty from today as well.

“He did everything right, he’s had his issues and we’re delighted to get his head back in front today.

“He’s in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Punchestown and the plan at the moment is to keep him over hurdles for the time being. All going well I’d imagine he’ll go there.”

On Monkfish he added: “We’re thrilled with him. He had plenty of build-up work done, but he’ll improve again for it. Hopefully he’ll be sound enough to go to Punchestown as well, he’s in the same race.

“The idea is to keep him over hurdles for the end of the season and then maybe go back chasing next year. Hopefully he’ll come out of it well and we’re absolutely thrilled with the way he ran.”

Irish Grand National full result

1st: I Am Maximus 8/1

2nd: Gevrey 28/1

3rd: Defi Bleu 28/1

4th: Dolcita 33/1

5th: Panda Boy 14/1

6th: Angels Dawn 9/1


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