Gordon Elliott landed the Boylesports Grand National trial for the second year on the bounce and the Grand Nationals at Aintree and Fairyhouse will be foremost on his mind right now. Dounikos won the long distance event by a distance of four and a quarter lengths with Davy Russell in the saddle, Wishmoor coming in second for the same owner (trained by Joseph O’Brien) and 2018 Irish National winner General Principle finishing in third position.
Elliott enjoyed Grand National success with Silver Birch in 2007 and Tiger Roll in 2018, the Irish trainer revealing after the trial that the winner may join his Aintree entries depending on the outcome of the weights on Tuesday 12th February.
“Dounikos might go to Aintree or Fairyhouse, we’ll see the Aintree weights this week,” Elliott said. “I made a lot of entries and I could end up running 12 or 15 in the race.”
Dounikos currently trades at 33/1 in the 2019 Grand National (cut from 50/1) and he is a 25/1 punt for the Fairyhouse National.
The trainer added: “His recent form wasn’t up to much – he fell in the Thyestes last time – but he was a decent novice and the good ground today seemed to suit him.”
Andrew Ring will be rueing the missed chance to win the trial with Wishmoor who went clear down the back only to be hauled back by a loose horse which brought him back amongst the pack. The two Elliott runners in the race subsequently raced past Wishmoor but the 20/1 shot fought back to clinch second place. He will almost certainly be hard to reel in with an unimpeded run.