Lord Lariat provided local trainer Dermot McLoughlin with a second successive victory in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
A year on from 150-1 shot Freewheelin Dylan causing an almighty shock in the Easter Monday feature, Lord Lariat got his name on the roll of honour at odds of 40-1 under 7lb claimer Paddy O’Hanlon.
While there were plenty of fallers in behind, there was not much change at the front end for much of the three-mile, five-furlong journey, with Frontal Assault giving a bold sight for a long way.
Lord Lariat joined him early in the home straight and galloped on strongly from the second-last to claim big-race glory by almost five lengths. Frontal Assault filled the runner-up spot, while 11-2 favourite Gaillard Du Mesnil jumped and travelled strongly for a long way but ultimately had to make do with minor honours in third. Screaming Colours and Early Doors finished fourth and fifth respectively.
McLoughlin, who also enjoyed an Easter Sunday double at Fairyhouse, said of the winner: “Our plan was to jump him out, but I was a bit concerned about getting the trip. Obviously we wanted to get a start like we did last year and utilise his jumping as he is a good jumper. Paddy said he got plenty of breathers into him and it all worked out well.
“We’ve been aiming for this since before Christmas. He won a ladies’ race here in November when he ran away with the jockey, Joanna Walton, and she said then that he would get further. We’re 10 minutes down the road, there was nobody here last year but my family and everyone is here this year – it’s unbelievable.
“Paddy started off with me five or six years ago, 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.”