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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Sport
Eamon Doggett

Who is Dermot McLoughlin? The Meath trainer who has taken down the big guns again to win the Irish Grand National

Dermot McLoughlin is the King of Fairyhouse after masterminding another BoyleSports Grand National success.

One year on after Ricky Doyle steered Freewheelin Dylan to a shock 150/1 success, McLoughlin sent out 40/1 shot Lord Lariat to land the famous race with Paddy O'Hanlon in the saddle this time around.

For not one of Ireland's smaller trainers it is remarkable feat to win our richest jumps prize two years on the bounce.

While to the casual racing fan McLoughlin may not be a familiar name, his family have a long history in the sport.

Dermot spent his early years working for the Dreaper family following in his father's and uncle's footsteps.

It was his father Liam who was the first jockey to win on the legendary Arkle and also won many of the big races in his career, including the Irish Grand National.

Liam also won huge races like the Thyestes Chase, the Leopardstown Chase and the Sun Alliance Novice Chase for the Dreapers.

Dermot was a rider himself but has come into his own in the training ranks since taking out his licence in 2010. Indeed, he won with his very first runner when Ocean Bright was first past the post at Roscommon.

Based in Bodeen, Co. Meath, just a ten minute drive from Fairyhouse, McLoughlin has trained some good horses over the years, but by far his biggest achievement was Freewheelin Dylan's triumph in the Irish Grand National in 2021 at 50/1, the longest-priced winner of the race in its 150-year history.

Now training around 40 horses from this stables, he was enjoying a good weekend even before Easter Monday after bagging two winners at the track on Sunday.

PJ O’Hanlon onboard Lord Lariat celebrates after winning the The Boylesports Irish Grand National Steeplechase (©INPHO/Tom Maher)

He said after seeing Lord Lariat complete the double: “Our plan was to jump him out, but I was a bit concerned about getting the trip.

“Obviously we wanted to get a start like we did last year and utilise his jumping as he is a good jumper. Paddy said he got plenty of breathers into him and it all worked out well.

“We’ve been aiming for this since before Christmas. He won a ladies’ race here in November when he ran away with the jockey, Joanna Walton, and she said then that he would get further.

“We’re 10 minutes down the road, there was nobody here last year but my family and everyone is here this year – it’s unbelievable.

“Paddy started off with me five or six years ago, he was going to be a Flat jockey for a while. He went over to England and tried the Flat there but had no luck and came back and rode a couple of winners for me on the Flat.

“I said ‘Paddy forget about the Flat, you’re going to be a big lad’ and he took to jumping like a duck to water. He won a couple of hurdle races and it went from there, he’s flying now.”

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