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Freewheelin Dylan set for Randox Grand National appearance
Trainer Dermot McLoughlin has expressed his pleasure at the weights allocated to Irish National winner Freewheelin Dylan for the 2022 Randox Grand National.
Having started the Irish National as a 150/1 outsider, Freewheelin Dylan was a shock winner at Fairyhouse in April 2021 and ever since then he has been pencilled in for an appearance at the Aintree equivalent on 9th April, McLoughlin ensuring that the runner will be eligible and ready to have a go at the testing Aintree fences. With a British handicap rating of 147, the ten-year-old was handed a burden of 10st 4lb when the weights were announced on Tuesday and the trainer was more than satisfied when he learned of this.
“That’s great, we’d be very happy with that,” McLoughlin said.
“It’s absolutely ideal really, spot on for him so long as he gets in.
“I can’t wait for the race, all we need now is the ground to come good for Aintree and we’re away.”
Freewheelin Dylan triumphed in the 2021 Irish National on yielding ground and the trainer considers this to be hugely important to his success as he tends not to be as effective on testing ground throughout the winter. Indeed thus far this season, the gelding unseated his rider in the Cheltenham cross-country chase in November and pulled up over hurdles on soft ground at Fairyhouse in January.
McLoughlin continued: “He’s not a winter horse and he wants top of the ground.”
“When spring comes round he’s a different horse altogether and that’s a great weight to be going in off.”