150/1 shot Freewheelin Dylan wins the Irish Grand National

Marcus Armytage
·10-min read
Freewheelin Dylan ridden by Ricky Doyle goes on to win The BoyleSports Irish Grand National Chase - PA Wire
Freewheelin Dylan ridden by Ricky Doyle goes on to win The BoyleSports Irish Grand National Chase - PA Wire

Grand National week started with a huge shock when Freewheelin Dylan, a 150-1 shot, lived up to his name and make all the running to win the Irish equivalent, the Boylesports Irish National, at Fairyhouse on Monday.

Front running is all about the jumping and every time the nine-year-old, trained locally by Dermot McLoughlin and ridden by Ricky Doyle, looked like getting swamped by more fancied horses he would take another length out of the field with his jumping.

Though he was not the most fluent over the last he was nevertheless quick over it and he came home a length and a quarter in front of Run Wild Fred, a 9-1 shot to become the longest priced winner of the race since it was first run in 1870. Enjoy D’allen was third and the favourite, Latest Exhibition, fourth.

“It all went to plan,” said McLoughlin, 47, a rising force in the Irish training ranks who trains three miles from Fairyhouse and whose father Liam rode Kerforo to victory in the race for Tom Dreaper in 1962.

“I said to Ricky he likes to bowl along there in front and that jumping’s his forte so use him up. I was pretty relaxed but I said to the lads turning in (with three to jump) we’d better start shouting because I knew he’d stay going. It’s nice to see a horse enjoy his fences like that.”

Grand National 2021: All you need to know
Grand National 2021: All you need to know

Five days ahead of the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree Secret Reprieve, the Welsh National winner, still needs three horses above him in the handicap to drop out before he is certain of making the cut for the world’s greatest race.

The maximum field in the National is 40 runners and the Evan Williams trained 14-1 shot is currently 43rd in the handicap. It is touch and go and trainer will learn his fate on Thursday at the 48 hour declaration stage. “What will be will be,” said Williams. “I never sweat over these things.”

Willie Mullins could be looking for a new jockey for the second favourite Burrows Saint in Saturday’s race. Stable jockey Paul Townend missed the ride on Agusta Gold in Monday’s Irish National after injuring his foot in a fall on Sunday.

“He’s going to see his doctor again mid-week before we make any decisions about the weekend,” said Mullins.

Rachael Blackmore, who is 10 behind him in the title race, was unable to capitalise on his absence after drawing a blank on Monday and even if Townend is out for a few weeks there are limited opportunities for her to ride 10 winners between now and May 1.

Winning jockey Doyle told ITV Racing: "I could not believe it. I thought it was too good to be true. It was out of this world, his jumping, and his rhythm. I was trying to do the maths in my head, did I jump this already?! It was like I was in a dream all way round.

"I was so happy. I wouldn't care if there was nothing to the winner, I just love this sport and I love these horses."

McLoughlin, the trainer who operates locally, said: "He is an honest-to-God, keep going, keep galloping sort. It is local, it is a bit of history for us." His father Liam McLoughlin won the race as a jockey back in 1962.

04:28 PM

Robin de Carlow

was pulled up, no news yet of him - that was Rachael Blackmore's mount.

04:26 PM

Ricky Doyle

"I could not believe it. I thought it was too good to be true. It was out of this world, his jumping, and his rhythm. I was trying to do the maths in my head, did I jump this already?! It was like I was in a dream all way round.

"I was so happy. I wouldn't care if there was nothing to the winner, I just love this sport and I love these horses."

04:25 PM

The horse cost

just 13 grand.

04:23 PM

Dermot A McLoughlin

"He is an honest to god keep going keep galloping sort. It is local, it is a bit of history for us." His dad Liam McLoughlin won the race as a jockey back in 1962.

Fairytale result, amazing stuff.

04:18 PM

Ricky Doyle was the jockey

He must have thought they were coming from him but he stuck to it and his horse just kept finding more and more. What an amazing win. 150 to 1 !! If you picked that one out then a) hats off to you and b) trebles all round.

04:16 PM

That is one of the biggest

prices winners in a big race ever, surely? We'll get chapter and verse on that as soon as but what a sensational win!

04:14 PM

Result of the Irish Grand National

1 Freewheelin Dylan (R A Doyle) 150-1

2 Run Wild Fred 9-1

3 Enjoy D'allen 40-1

4 Latest Exhibition 9-2 Fav

28 ran

04:13 PM

Freewheelin Dylan

is trained by Dermot A McLoughlin, just up the road in Bodeen, Ratoath in County Meath.

04:11 PM

150/1 shot Freewheelin Dylan

has won the Irish Grand National!!!

04:11 PM

Freehwheelin Dylan

is not going away! He is not giving it up! They are challenging him but the 150/1 shot is going to hold them off! He has made every yard of this and he is going to win the Irish Grand National.

04:10 PM

Coming to the last fence

Run Wild Fred, Latest Exhibition. Freehwelin Dylan is leading them over....

04:09 PM

We are coming to the home straight

four left. Still Dylan! Several are pulled up. Run Wild Fred, Latest Exhibition, Sempo are closing in.

04:08 PM

6 fences to go

Freewheelin Dylan, Latest Exhibition is getting up there.

04:08 PM

8 fences to go

Mile to go. Freeheelin Dylan, Coko Beach, Run Wild Fred are our first three.

04:07 PM

Ten fences to go

Top Moon, Home By The Lea both look beaten.

04:06 PM

At halfway

with 12 fences to go. Latest Exhibition is up there. Sempo also going along.

04:06 PM

With 13 fences to go

Run Wild Fred is up there. Brahma Bull too.

04:05 PM

With 15 to go

The pack is very bunched. Coko Beach, Enjoi Dallen prominent. Mortal is also up there.

04:04 PM

Freewheelin Dylan is

seemingly unencumbered by the 150/1 price! He's, well, free wheeling along happily in front with 17 to go. Over the 7th.

04:03 PM

Freehwelin Dylan

is the leader as we come to the third.

04:02 PM

Eurobot falls at the first

everyone else okay.

04:02 PM

They're off!

Off in the Boyle Sports Grand National.

04:02 PM

The horses are ready to go

Oh no... one is out the back. Escaria Ten has got himself the wrong side of a rail. That is a false start.

04:01 PM

It's a bottle neck at the start here

A lot of the jockeys will want to get a decent early position, there's no real front runners in this race.

03:57 PM

Only two horses

have won this carrying more than 11 stone this century. Commanche Court and Our Duke.

03:53 PM

Robin de Carlow

is Rachael Blackmore's horse in this - he's not run for 500 and something days. But if anyone can put out a horse with no prep race, it is of course Willie Mullins. 557 days.

Rachael has her feet out of the irons in the parade, trying to keep him calm.

03:51 PM

Previous winners of this

include Arkle and Desert Orchid - Dessie carried 12 stone to win it.

03:49 PM

Looking forward to this race

There are some very useful horses in this. 28 runners. The favourite Latest Exhibition has some good grade one form. Mick Fitzgerald says "it is a scrum at Fairyhouse to the first and then the run in after the last is a real lungbuster."

03:25 PM

They are off in the 4.20

at Fairyhouse, the Grand National will be at 5pm.

03:22 PM

The race was not run last year

but in 2019, was won by that demon combo of Walsh-Mullins, Ruby piloting Burrows Saint to glory for Willie.

No Ruby this year of course , but Willie is four-handed, with the Rachael Blackmore mount probably his best chance.

03:22 PM

Noel Meade

has not had the winner in this since 2002 with The Bunny Boiler, but he saddles two in this: Brace Yourself and Eurobot.

02:50 PM

Irish Grand National

Welcome to our live blog coverage and tips from the Irish Grand National. It precedes the UK Grand National, which will be held at Aintree on Saturday 10 April 2021, with the famous race starting at 5.15pm. We have got a long list of the runners and riders for the Randox Health Grand National 2021 here: the presence of Rachael Blackmore, Bryony Frost and Tabitha Worsley in the Aintree race means that at least three women are in with a shout of winning the Grand National. If you are looking for our tips for the Grand National or the weights of the horses or our sweepstake kit you have come to the right place, and there's all the information you might want about the Grand National 2021, such as what time does the Aintree race start, what TV channel is it on and how will it work during Covid-19 then please click here.

Grand National 2021: All you need to know
Grand National 2021: All you need to know

But for now, we turn our full attention to the action from Fairyhouse, where the Irish Grand National will be contested over three miles and five furlongs at 5pm. Latest Exhibition, trained by Paul Nolan, is carrying the top weight at 11 stone ten, but nevertheless is being back at 9/2. The aforementioned Rachael Blackmore is not without chances aboard Robin De Carlow: she rides that one for Willie Mullins and will go off at around 12/1, with ten stone 9 on his back, that might well have a say.

Also for Willie Mullins, Agusta Gold absolutely makes the shortlist, and not just because the Masters starts this week. Danny Mullins has the ride.

One horse who is having quite a season is Jeff Kidder. He's won the Rathbarry And Glenview Studs Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse this afternoon, following on from a sensational 80/1 win at Cheltenham in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

"He's improving all the time," said his trainer Noel Meade. "If he never does any more he's done a lot, but hopefully he will do more.

"I can't see any reason why he won't run in Punchestown now in the Grade One and the plan was to run on the Flat during the summer. Colin (Keane) said to me last year 'when you get him over two miles, he'll win a Cesarewitch for you'."