The Irish Grand National has come a long way since its first race in 1870 when it was won by a horse called Sir Robert Peel.

The race took place at Fairyhouse, which is still its current home, and the winner’s prize money was 167 sovereigns.

As we look towards the 2024 Irish Grand National, which takes place on Monday, April 1st, 2024, at 5pm, we will find out just who has become the bookie’s favourite.

But who could also run a good race, and are there any trends that we should be looking out for?

Irish Grand National 2024

The Boylesports Irish Grand National will take place at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday, April 1st at 5pm.

Run over a distance of about 3 miles and 5 furlongs (5,834 metres); there are twenty-four fences to be jumped.

At the time of writing this article, the entries have not yet been confirmed, however they will be announced very soon.

Following that, the numbers will get whittled down until just 30 remain.

That is the maximum number of runners allowed in the Irish National, a limit set by Horse Racing Ireland to ensure the safety of the horses and jockeys, as well as to prevent overcrowding on the course.


(*Taken from Betfred 22.03.2024)

Runner Odds
Nick Rockett 4/1
Intense Raffles 7/1
Hartur D’arc 9/1
Desertmore House 9/1
Yeah Man 10/1
Senior Chief 12/1
Any Second Now 14/1
We’llhavewan 14/1
Where It All Began 16/1
Good Time Jonny 16/1
Favori De Champdou 16/1
Daily Present 20/1
Churchstonewarrior 20/1
Frontal Assault 25/1
Where’s Frankie 25/1
Minella Cocooner 25/1
Macs Charm 25/1
Paul Marvel 33/1
Grandero Bello 33/1
Cool Survivor 33/1
Brideswell Lad 33/1
Digby 33/1
Farouk D’alene 40/1
Dunboyne 40/1
Tullybeg 40/1
Run Wild Fred 50/1
Diol Ker 50/1
Street Value 50/1
History Of Fashion 50/1
Fakir D’alene 50/1

Favourite For 2024

The current favourite for the Irish Grand National is Nick Rockett. Trained by Willie Mullins and owned by Stewart & Sadie Andrew, this 7-year-old does tick a lot of boxes.

However, this horse has only run in three chases, and the Irish National will be, by far, the biggest race he has ever attempted.

While it may not considered as difficult as its Aintree counterpart, it is still one of the toughest races in Ireland.

Can Nick Rockett rise to the occasion or will there be a few more challengers?

One that could contend is Intense Raffles, who is second in the betting markets. With back-to-back wins at Fairyhouse, he clearly likes the course is on solid form.

Irish Grand National 2024 Tips

Over the years, there have been several trends and patterns observed in the horses that win the Irish Grand National. Here are some of the key factors to consider:

Age: The most successful age range for Irish Grand National winners is between 7 and 9 years old.

Weight: 13 of the last 15 winners have carried a weight of 10-08 or less. The only exceptions were Our Duke in 2017 (11-04) and Shutthefrontdoor in 2014 (10-13).

Experience: Horses that have had at least 5 runs but no more than 10 runs in the current season tend to have a better chance of winning, satistically.

Form: Strong recent form is usually a good sign, and horses that have placed in their last race have a better record than horses that finished out of the money.

These trends are not guaranteed, and upsets and surprises can happen in any race. The Irish Grand National is a challenging and unpredictable event, and a horse’s performance on the day of the race is always the most important factor.

TIPS: Currently fulfilling most of the criteria above, and with the best from, are runners that include:

  • Where It All Began
  • Intense Raffles
  • Yeah Man
  • Harteur D’arc

Of course, with the field still needing to be reduced further, any or all of the tips above may not even get declared.

When the final declarations are announced, we will revise our tips accordingly!

Most Successful Jockeys In The Irish Grand National

The most successful jockey in the Irish Grand National is Pat Taaffe who has won the title an epic six times on Royal Approach (1954), Umm (1955), Zonda (1959), Fortria (1961), Arkle (1964), Flyingbolt (1966).

On three of those occasions he raced for the most successful trainer, Tom Dreaper who has won the race 10 times:

  • Prince Regent (1942)
  • Shagreen (1949)
  • Royal Approach (1954)
  • Olympia (1960)
  • Fortria (1961)
  • Kerforo (1962)
  • Last Link (1963)
  • Arkle (1964)
  • Splash (1965)
  • Flyingbolt (1966)

The 2011 Irish Grand National was won by the Arthur Moore trained, six-year-old Organisedconfusion who also gave Nina Carberry her first National win.

It was the first for a female jockey since 1984 when Ann Ferris won on Bentom Boy.

Gambling on Horse Racing

Horse race betting is a thrilling and captivating activity that attracts both seasoned gamblers and newcomers alike.

When it comes to choosing the right horse to bet on, there are several useful tips to consider.

Firstly, conducting thorough research on the horses and jockeys is essential.

Studying their past performances, track records, and the conditions they excel in can provide valuable insights for making informed decisions.

Additionally, understanding the race distance and course conditions is crucial, as certain horses may perform better on specific tracks or under certain weather conditions.

In Canada, horserace betting has gained significant popularity. While it may not have the same long-standing tradition as in Ireland, Canadian enthusiasts avidly participate in horseracing events like the Queen’s Plate and the Canadian Derby.

The allure of these prestigious races, combined with the excitement of betting, has cultivated a dedicated following for horse betting in the country.

Moreover, with the rise of online casinos, horse racing-themed online slots have emerged as a favourite pastime among Canadian bettors.

Titles like “Derby Dollars,” “Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven,” and “Sure Win” have become fan-favourites, providing players with the thrill of horserace betting alongside the fun of spinning virtual reels. Any online casino in Canada, like Lucky Spins casino, Quatro and Grand Mondial, will surely offer at least 50 games for horse racing sports fans.

This fusion of horse betting and online slots has further solidified the sport’s popularity in Canada, offering enthusiasts a diverse and engaging gambling experience.

Keeping track of race statistics, monitoring expert predictions, and trusting one’s instincts can significantly contribute to successful horse betting.

With the right approach and knowledge, horserace betting can be an exhilarating and potentially rewarding pastime for bettors.

Early History Of The Irish Grand National

The Irish Grand National is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in Ireland and is held annually at Fairyhouse Racecourse in County Meath. The race has a long and storied history, dating back over 150 years.

The first running of the Irish Grand National took place in 1870, and it was won by a horse called Sir Robert Peel.

The race quickly became one of the most important events on the Irish racing calendar, attracting the best horses, jockeys, and trainers from all over the country.

Over the years, the race has been won by some of the greatest horses in Irish racing history, including the legendary Arkle, who won the race in 1964.

Other famous winners of the Irish Grand National include Desert Orchid, who won in 1990, and Numbersixvalverde, who took home the title in 2006.

The race has also seen its share of drama and controversy over the years. In 1928, the race was declared void after a false start, which led to a riot among the spectators.

In 1954, the race was won by a horse called Lovely Cottage, who was later disqualified for carrying too much weight.

Despite these incidents, the Irish Grand National has remained one of the most popular and beloved horse racing events in Ireland.

Today, the race is run over a distance of 3 miles and 5 furlongs, and it is open to horses aged five years and older.

The race is always held on Easter Monday, and it is attended by thousands of racing fans from all over Ireland and beyond.

In recent years, the Irish Grand National has also become a major betting event, with millions of euros wagered on the race each year.

The race has also been the subject of many books, films, and documentaries, cementing its place in Irish sporting history.

Bizarre Irish Grand National Stories

In the six years since the first race in 1890, the Irish Grand National produced some very bizarre if not unfortunate tales!

In 1871 a horse by the name of Mabel Grey romped home at 10/1 but this was no thoroughbred because Mabel Grey was bought for five bob from a knackers yard.

And if that wasn’t enough triumph over adversity she then went on to produce the 1881 English Grand National winner!

Two years later, in 1873, Scots Grey came in 2nd place but only after the horse had bolted into the betting ring scattering the bookies.

His rider, Garry Moore, got him back on track but not fast enough to take the Grand National.

He tried again the following year but only managed third place so in 1875, and third time being a charm, Scots Grey finally won the Irish Grand National.

This in itself is not so unusual, but there was a delay in the official verdict in which time a young clerk from Dublin, convinced that Scots Grey had lost (he had backed him with money that wasn’t his) fled the course and committed suicide!

The following year, 1876, the race was won by a horse called – and this is true – Grand National!

Irish Trained Grand National Winners At Aintree

In recent years the Irish have had incredible success at the Aintree Grand National, but its association and links go much deeper than that.

In fact, it was two Irish fox-hunting gentlemen, Edmund Bake and Cornelius O’Callaghan, who coined the phrase ‘steeplechase’ back in 1752.

It only seems appropriate given the race’s origins, that the Irish have the greatest overseas impact at the Aintree Grand National, which is run over roughly the same distance as the original country chase from St John’s Church Buttevant to St Marys Church at Doneraile, County Cork.

Irish jockeys and Irish-bred horses have always enjoyed considerable success at Aintree. There have been 25 winners of the race trained in Ireland since the first Grand National back in 1839.

The first Irish-trained winner was the Coolreagh-bred Matthew, who won the race in 1847, the 10-1 joint-favourite. The next was Abd-El-Kader who became the first dual winner of the Grand National in 1850 and 1851. It then took another 24 years before The Liberator triumphed.

The 1900s were a relatively quiet period for Irish-trained Grand National winners. In fact, since 1999 there have been nearly as many winners as in the whole of the century before.

From 1999 To The Present Day

Jockey of L’Escargot Tommy Carberry trained 1999 Irish and English National winner Bobbyjo, who was ridden by Tommy’s son Paul.

The father-son combo quickly caught on and in 2000 Papillon won, with Ted Walsh training and son Ruby riding his first National.

2003 saw Monty’s Pass be victorious by 12 lengths, while Ruby Walsh secured his second National victory on Hedgehunter in 2005.

Hedgehunter was a runner up in 2006 behind Irish-trained Numbersixvalverde, Martin Brassil’s first runner in the National.

The Irish were successful again in 2007 with Silver Birch who beat McKelvey by three-quarters of a length, and again in 2008 with Comply Or Die, proving that the Irish really do have what it takes in the great race.

Of course, it would be remiss to talk about this great race and not mention Tiger Roll. The two-time winner trained by Gordon Elliott was a fan favourite and was nearly on for a hattrick before the 2020 race was cancelled.

When racing resumed, and the 2021 renewal took place behind closed doors, spirits were not dampened. On the back of a remarkable Cheltenham Festival, jockey Rachael Blackmore and trainer Henry De Bromhead pinned their hopes on Minella Times.

And the horse did not disappoint. Blackmore made history as the first female jockey to win the race and De Bromhead was able to add it to his impressive haul for the year.

List Of Irish Trained Aintree Grand National Winners

  • 2021 – Minella Times – Henry De Bromhead
  • 2019 – Tiger Roll – Gordon Elliott
  • 2018 – Tiger Roll – Gordon Elliott
  • 2016 – Rule The World – Mouse Morris
  • 2007 – Silver Birch – Gordon Elliott
  • 2006 – Numbersixvalverde – Martin Brassil
  • 2005 – Hedgehunter – Willie Mullins
  • 2003 – Monty’s Pass – Jimmy Mangan
  • 2000 – Papillon – Ted Walsh
  • 1999 – Bobbyjo – Tommy Carberry
  • 1975 – L’Escargot – Tommy Carberry
  • 1958 – Mr What – Tom Taaffe
  • 1955 – Quare Times – Vincent O’Brien
  • 1954 – Royal Tan – Vincent O’Brien
  • 1953 – Early Mist – Vincent O’Brien
  • 1947 – Caughoo – Herbert Mcdowell
  • 1939 – Workman – Jack Ruttle
  • 1920 – Troytown – Algy Anthony
  • 1900 – Ambush – Algy Anthony
  • 1881 – Woodbrook – Henry Linde
  • 1879 – The Liberator – J. Moore
  • 1855 – Wanderer – John Hanlon (Jockey)
  • 1851 – Abd-El-Kader – Joseph Osborne
  • 1850 – Abd-El-Kader – Joseph Osborne
  • 1847 – Mathew – John Murphy

A resurgence in Irish horse racing was always threatening. The last twenty years have been incredibly fruitful for those who opt to send their horses across the pond.

So much, so that Irish entries and winners now dominate those festivals in the UK. Will we see another bumper year for them again in 2024? We will have to wait and see.