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Lord Lariat triumphs at Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse

todayApril 18, 2022 1

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Lord Lariat won the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse for the second time in a row for local trainer Dermot McLoughlin. A year after 150-1 shot Freewheelin Dylan stunned the field in the Easter Monday feature, Lord Lariat made the list at 40-1 under jockey Paddy O’Hanlon. While there were plenty of fallers in the back, there wasn’t much movement at the front end for the majority of the three-mile-five-furlong journey, as Frontal Assault took second. Lord Lariat joined him early in the home straight and galloped away from the second-last to win the big race by nearly five lengths. Gaillard Du Mesnil, the 11-2 favourite, jumped and travelled strongly for a long distance but had to settle for third place. Screaming Colors and Early Doors came in fourth and fifth place, respectively. “He’s a lovely horse. He jumped and moved quickly”, said trainer Mcloughlin. “It’s unbelievable, I’m overjoyed,” winning jockey O’Hanlon said. He also added that, “ he was quietly confident and that it would take some time to sink in.”

 

Despite some reservations about Lord Lariat’s stamina, the plan was to employ positive tactics similar to those used on Freewheelin Dylan, which paid off spectacularly. The winner and runner-up dominated the lead for the majority of the race, and when Gaillard Du Mesnil’s heavy weight began to show in the straight, the pair had it all to themselves. O’Hanlon’s 7lb claim proved crucial as Lord Lariat kept going in style to win the €270,000 first prize. The 23-year-old rider, who hails from Glasnevin in Dublin and whose hopes of making it on the flat were dashed by weight issues, seized his opportunity with gusto. In his spare time, O’Hanlon has progressed from taking flying lessons to obtaining a solo pilot’s license, but he appeared content enough on Monday to circle the nearby airport on his own. The jockey began riding at McLoughlin’s yard when he was 15 years old and has returned to ride there a couple of mornings a week. According to Mclouglin, “Paddy started off with and he was going to be a flat jockey for a while. He went over to England and tried the flat there but had no luck and came back and rode a couple of winners for me on the flat.”I said ‘Paddy, forget about the flat, you’re going to be a big lad’ and he took to jumping like a duck to water. “He won a couple of hurdle races and it went from there. He’s flying now.” The crowd was nearly 3,000 higher than the previous year’s National, and Fairyhouse’s manager Peter Roe said, “We couldn’t ask for more. It was a fantastic crowd in a fantastic setting. Dermot was alone last year, but not today!”

Written by: Relaks Radio

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