The Irish Grand National looks likely to cut up massively between now and the big day, with many of the entries either set to swerve Fairyhouse in favour of the English equivalent at Aintree a week later, or in need of a hard-earned rest following the Cheltenham Festival.
The likes of Don Cossack, Wounded Warrior, and The Package all had tough assignments around Prestbury Park earlier this month; indeed, each of them placed at worst, with the latter romping home by 12l in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.
Despite this trio’s obvious class, they’re priced between 16/1-20/1 to take the Emerald Isle’s 3m5f marathon, largely owing to their presence high up in the weights. At this juncture, none really seems likely to run.
Others such as Spring Heeled (20/1 for Aintree) and Rule The World (far too big at 25/1 if running) look set to let down the punters in County Meath by not showing up, so glancing further down the handicap for horses likely to sneak into the field may be key.
Ladbrokes clearly think so, as the bookies have chalked up County Cork handler Robert Tyner’s duo Embracing Change and Whatwillwecallher at 10/1 and 12/1 odds, making the former co-favourite with Tony Martin’s Gallant Oscar.
This is in spite of the fact that the Tyner pair are currently listed at 53 and 50 respectively in the weights for a race that has gone off with 29 runners or less in each of the past five years.
Embracing Change looks a particularly fine prospect at 10/1, as the 10-year-old has won four races on the spin since October, with each of those victories coming in nine-plus runner fields.
That this son of Anshan’s 2014/15 triumphs have come on ground ranging between yielding-soft is also a plus, as conditions at Fairyhouse have been no better than good-to-soft over the past three Irish Grand Nationals.
If he sneaks in around bottom weight, Embracing Change’s current odds won’t be seen for the dust left in his wake.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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