Thunder And Roses wins the Irish Grand National
It often serves up a fairytale at Fairyhouse and it did so in no uncertain terms this afternoon as Katie Walsh brought Thunder And Roses home in front for trainer Sandra Hughes at 20/1 and became the third lady rider to land the big race.
Always front rank in the race and avoiding early carnage at the opening fence which accounted for several fancied contenders and as the race devloped Thunder And Roses faced a duo of fellow Gigginstown inmates as they approached the final flight but a big jump and a bound up the hill was enough to record a famous succes by just over four lengths.
It was a one, two and four for the owners as Rule The World finished in second for Mouse Morris and Danny Mullins whilst the inexperienced Sizing Coal finished 3rd for Jim Dreaper and JJ Burke who was a late replacement on the charge with 4th place, another Gigginstown charge and Mouse Morris runner Band Of Blood, who led them for a long way in the contest.
A great boost for Sandra Hughes who lost her father Dessie recently and has since taken over the reigns at the yard with some great success and this result surely a massive highlight.
“He stays all day. I was disappointed with him at Cheltenham but he came out of it fine so we took our chance. We thought all year that this was the race for him. He stays and keeps going and he doesn’t mind that ground. Someone above was helping us out. Dad always loved this race and to do it for him is wonderful. Katie was brilliant on him.” said Hughes.
Winning jockey Walsh was thrilled “He travelled everywhere and that makes it a lot easier in a race like this. He was a very easy ride and anybody could have won on him today. It’s a race I’ve been lucky enough to ride in a few times but I never dreamt I would win it. I’ve rode a lot of great winners over the years and this is right up there with them.”
Notable for Mouse Morris to train two horses in the race to place and of course to the Gigginstown Stud connections who dominated this years race. The day belongs to Sandra Hughes, Katie Walsh and their charge Thunder And Roses in a magic day for all concerned.
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