As the name suggests, the Boylesports Grand National Trial is a race that usually features horses that are most likely being aimed at either the English Grand National or Irish Grand National.
This Grade B Chase is run over 3 miles 4 furlongs and 150 yards at Punchestown and is worth an impressive €59,000 to the winner. But, despite the money on offer, it’s worth remembering the Grand National and Irish Nationals offer connections the chance to win much bigger pots.
When trying to pick the winner, one angle is trying to pick which horses may need to run well to go up in the weights to get in one of the big Nationals, whilst excluding horses that may benefit from being dropped a few pounds by the handicapper before the weights for the Grand National are announced on February 12th. Because of that, the race has produced some interesting stats over the last decade.
Boylesports Grand National Trial 10-Year-Trends
- Winners have been aged six to 11
- Horses rated between 107 and 141
- Weights of between 9-10 and 10-11 have been carried to victory
- SP’s have ranged from 7/2 to 16/1
- Winners had run 8 to 64 days previously
Boylesports Grand National Trial 2019 Main Contenders
Excellent stats-fit as he arrives here rated 135 and is set to carry just 10-3. He’s also had a 45-day break since finishing third in a big handicap, whilst his trainer and jockey haven’t won this race in the last 10 years. A slight negative is he didn’t look the strongest of finishers when placed over 3 miles and 5 furlongs two starts ago, but the addition of first-time blinkers could easily sharpen him up.
Course winner for the powerful combination of Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh and was strongly fancied to run well when falling in the Thyestes Chase last time. No reason why he can’t go close but his rating of 145 and his weight of 10-12 are higher than those of the most recent 10 winners.
Landed a gamble last time when backed into 17/2, but that was a big turnaround in form for this nine-year-old who had disappointed on his first three runs over fences. His win came off an 8lb lower mark than the one he achieved over hurdles and he’s been raised 9lb for that win. Has a nice low-weight but probably needs to improve again.
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His rating of 142 is just 1lb higher than the highest-rated winner in the last 10 years but, as he has just 10-9 to carry, he might get away with it. Last year’s Irish Grand National should also appreciate stepping back up in distance to this sort of trip. However, as he’s now just 3lb higher than when winning last year’s Irish National, there’s a big chance his connections will have a bigger target in mind. His wins have also come soft-heavy ground.
Only had two runs for trainer Henry De Bromhead since being transferred from Neil Mulholland, and he looks worth a try and this trip having stayed on over three miles last time, one place and half a length behind Fitzhenry. However, he had a 7lb claimer on board that day and the first-time booking of Tom Scudamore needs to have a positive effect.
Eight-year-old who has had just four runs over fences at up to 21 furlongs, and this big step up in distance is interesting. His two wins in his career so far have come over three-miles, one of which was in a point-to-point and the other in a lucrative handicap hurdle. He was also very strong at the end of that hurdles win. His connections may be trying to win this in the hope that a rise in the weights for doing so will get him in near the foot of the weights in the Irish Grand National.
Boylesports Grand National Trial 2019 Summary
There are some classy types at the head of the weights but the stats suggest it’s better to concentrate on those lower down the handicap.
Fitzhenry and Solomn Grundy shouldn’t be far apart on their run last time but that form may not be the strongest. It’s also possible that Kilkishen has had his day after a 9lb rise for landing a gamble last time.
General Principle would certainly have a chance if connections have targeted this prize but they may have a Grand National in mind for him. So, it could be worth taking a chance on Agent Boru who could really appreciate to carrying a low-weight over a staying trip over fences for the first time. If today isn’t his day, keep an eye on him over the next couple of months.
Boylesports Grand National Trial Free Tip (10th Feb at 16:20 GMT)
Agent Boru (Each-Way) @ 21.00 Bet365 and William Hill