Don’t discount Elliott second-string at Irish Grand National

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Quite the contrary to its English counterpart, the Irish Grand National has been a race in which younger horses have excelled.

Where the Aintree attention-grabber has had 20 winners aged nine or over in the 22 races since 1994, the Fairyhouse edition has thrown up just eight victors in that age bracket in the same period of time.

Last year, Thunder And Roses became the second successive seven-year-old to win the race, at a price of 20/1. Since 2006, only three winners have come home in front at shorter odds.

The winning jockey 12 months ago was Katie Walsh and she goes to defend her crown on Baie Des Iles for Ross O’Sullivan at a price of 16s.

At five years old, the fillie may have a tough task winning, but she will be carrying just one pound more than what Thunder And Roses did last year.

Considering the winning prices in the last 10 years have been reasonably lengthy, it isn’t much of a surprise that only two of that sample won last time out.

Looking for a young type that’s open to improvement, Gordon Elliott’s Riverside City appeals at 33s.

The seven-year-old has Nina Carberry, a winner of this in 2011 on six-year-old Organisedconfusion, on board and was sixth at Downpatrick last time out.

As that run was only eight days ago, it remains to be seen whether the quick turnaround will effect his chances.

Riverside City is one of eight darts Elliott is throwing at the race, with 8/1-shot Mala Beach the market leader and Cheltenham Festival winner Cause of Causes also sat among the top four in the betting at 10s.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.