A gutsy front-running display from Freewheelin Dylan created a shock 150-1 success in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
Ridden by Ricky Doyle, the nine-year-old trained by Dermot McLoughlin, lead all the way in a competitive field. Approaching two out, the challengers came to tackle the leader, as Run Wild Fred threw down the gauntlet. Enjoy D’allan 40/1 and 9/2 favourite, Latest Exhibition, became the other challengers. A burden of 11st 10lb looked to have taken it’s toll on the favourite but all credit to the winner under a brilliant ride from Ricky Doyle who managed to hold on for a length and a quarter winning-margin.
Commenting on the result, the winning trainer said: “It’s great – it went to plan. I said to Ricky ‘he likes to bowl along in front and jumping is his forte, so use him up’.
“I was a bit concerned about not getting a run into him. I said turning into the straight that we’d better start shouting, because I knew he’d stay going.”
McLoughlin added: “It’s a race I always wanted to have runners in, let alone try to win it. My father (Liam McLoughlin) rode the winner in 1962 (Kerforo), so I was always trying to follow.
“We’re based three miles down the road and we’ll keep progressing the best we can.
“I was 47 the other day. We have good help and good staff and we have some nice horses.
“Coming here I thought we had a good chance and thankfully it’s worked out.”
“I could not believe it – I thought everything was too good to be true!,” was the response from a delighted Ricky Doyle.
His jumping is just out of this world, but how well he travelled and the rhythm he was in (was unbelievable).
“Turning in I could feel horses on me and I could feel him picking up. I was trying to do the maths in my head and was thinking ‘did I jump the last the first time’? I was in a dream the whole way.
“He’s a proper summer ground horse. I won a Midlands National on him in the same way. I was just so happy with everything that I couldn’t believe it.
“This means everything to me. I love this sport and I love horses – I couldn’t care if there was nothing to the winner.
“I’m over the moon.”
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