History was made at Fairyhouse racecourse in Ireland yesterday (5 April) when Freewheelin Dylan became the biggest priced winner of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at a staggering 150-1.
Ridden by Ricky Doyle, the nine-year old, trained by Dermot A McLoughlin and owned by Sheila Mangan who works for the trainer, led from start to finish to land the shock victory.
“It’s unbelievable. I was excited to ride him because of how well he jumps but winning it is something I’ve dreamt about. It’s madness,” said an ecstatic 26-year-old Ricky, who was having his first ride in this race and who recorded his best tally over jumps in Ireland last season with 16 winners. “This is the best day of my life by far – I cannot believe it.”
It was the gelding’s sixth win under Rules. The last time he was seen on the track was October 2020, when he finished last by 50 lengths in a Grade Three contest at Punchestown. The addition of cheek pieces for the first time, coupled with a great round of jumping, ultimately made him impossible to get past.
“It’s nice to have a runner in this race, let alone win,” said Dermot, who is based just four miles from Fairyhouse and whose late father Liam won this race as a jockey in 1962. “It’s a local race for us and it means a lot.”
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The €13,000 purchase of Freewheelin Dylan, who is by Curtain Time and out of a Beat All mare as a store (unbroken three-year-old), has proven to be a shrewd one, as he has now clocked over £280,000 in prize money for his connections.
Run Wild Fred finished one and a quarter lengths behind in second under Jack Kennedy for trainer Denise Foster and owners Giggingstown Stud, while Enjoy D’allen put in a valiant effort to finish third at 40/1 under Conor Orr for trainer Ciaran Murphy. Latest Exhibition, who was sent off the 9/2 favourite, finished in fourth under top weight for jockey Bryan Cooper and trainer Paul Nolan.
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