Irish Grand National Shortlist

Acapella Bourgeois.jpg

Acapella Bourgeois (33/1) – 1pt win

9yo – ch g Network (GER) – Jasmine (FR) (Valanjou I (FR))

Once touted to be Gold Cup standard, who could ever forget Acapella Bourgeois finest hour at Navan Racecourse? A 32 length demolition against a field of novice chasers that included the classy Road to Respect.

Two years and six runs later, now trained by Willie Mullins, Acapella Bourgeois might come into to this still unexposed over fences. After a recent trip to Cheltenham and victory over stable mate Yorkhill at Thurles last time, further improvement should come with a hike in trip.

Likely to race handy under Johnny Burke. He could be dangerous off current mark of 150.  If allowed an opportunity to find a rhythm he could surprise a few.

Woods Well

Woods Well (33/1) – 1pt win

8yo- ch g Fleetwood (IRE) – Millbrook Marble (IRE) (Rudimentary (USA))

One of 12 runners for Gordon Elliott. Woods Well didn’t cover himself in glory in this last year’s renewal but preparation this term has been much different.

BetXS BannerHis Leopardstown victory on good/yielding ground last month impressed me followed up by a solid effort in Aintree’s famous Topham chase (5th). He appears to be teed up nicely for another tilt at Ireland’s favourite race!

A negative for some may be his unproven record over 2m 6f or further, be this wouldn’t worry me. In victory he has always shaped like a stayer and his dam sire progeny oozes stamina.  Woods Well carries 10-5 last carried to victory by Lion Na Bearnai. He could be the horse to lift jockey Bryan Cooper out of the wilderness.


Whisperinthebreeze (20/1) – 1pt win

rg g Kayf Tara (GB) – Silver Spinner (GB) (Silver Patriarch (IRE))

Novice chaser who came with a big reputation in 2017 after winning 4yo maiden P2P in Tinahealy for Tim Hyde. Took a horrendous fall in the 4-Miler at Cheltenham when running a stormer.

Jessica Harrington runners are starting to fire and jockey Paddy Kennedy proved his riding ability on the biggest stage when finishing second aboard Magic Of Light at Aintree.

Expect Whisperinthebreeze to race with prominence for connections who succeeded with a novice chaser (Our Duke) in 2019. Will enjoy a test of stamina and looks unexposed!

By Barry Doyle – 22/04/2019