Willie Mullins aims to finish off an excellent season by saddling his first ever winner in the Irish Grand National.
The Irish Champion Trainer had another outstanding Cheltenham Festival as Quevega won her fifth Mares’ Hurdle and Hurricane Fly won the Champion Hurdle for a second time.
Mullins has two runners at Fairyhouse, the shortest of which is seven-year-old gelding Marasonnien at 10/1.
Although he is still a maiden over fences, Marasonnien twice won over hurdles last season (including a grade one success at the Punchestown Festival) before moving to the Mullins stable.
At Leopardstown over Christmas he then battled to a close second behind Lord Windermere in a two-mile-three-furlong trip over the larger obstacles. A performance that gained further significance when Windermere romped home in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham two weeks ago.
After taking the reins that day at Leopardstown, Ruby Walsh will again steer him around. Welcome news for punters who saw the Mullins – Walsh partnership succeed so emphatically at Cheltenham.
Mullins’ other runner in the race comes in the shape of 10-year-old charge, Away We Go. Unlike the former, this gelding does have winning credentials over fences and at 25/1 looks a healthy each-way punt.
Away We Go is partnered by Paul Townend and for a race of this magnitude, the combined experience of horse and jockey could prove invaluable.
Furthermore, Townend led him to victory over hurdles at Fairyhouse in early March so course form can also be ticked off an encouraging list of pre-requisites.
Elsewhere, Rich Revival is the most popular choice amongst punters so far, and he currently leads the market at 8/1.
The nine-year-old has taken to chasing with aplomb. He completed his third-straight win at the start of March to remain unbeaten over fences.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing