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Enjoy D’Allen gearing up for the big race
Irish handler Ciaran Murphy is excited at the prospect of running Enjoy D’Allen in the 2022 Randox Grand National on Saturday, 9th April and he has admitted that winning the famous steeplechase would be “off the Richter scale.”
The County Cork-based handler has revealed that during the past year he has dreamt of winning the famous Aintree marathon and he will be in with a decent chance of making this dream come true with Enjoy D’Allen, the runner finishing in third position in the Irish Grand National last year and running well in each of his three starts this season. After putting in an encouraging performance over hurdles at Fairyhouse in November, he finished in third place in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown the following month.
His preparation for the Aintree Grand National concluded with a decent fifth-placed finish in a three-mile handicap hurdle at Leopardstown in early February and following this race he was purchased by J P McManus. Murphy has been training this runner specifically for the Grand National and as things stand, the 8-year-old is up for grabs at an ante-post price of 12/1.
The trainer said: “We are getting very excited now. The race is getting nearer and nearer and creeping up on us nicely. We are ready to go. His form is rock solid and he is thriving. He’s only an eight year old and we are hoping there is more to come.
“We’ve made no secret of the fact that we have trained him for Aintree all year. We said we’d get him out over hurdles early this year and he ran a lovely race over two and a half miles on good ground at Fairyhouse.
“The plan was to then have him fresh for the Paddy Power to see how he’d run. We were very, very happy with how he ran in the Paddy Power – he ran a cracker. He wasn’t beaten very far and gave a lot of weight to the horses that finished in front of him.
“He then got in at the bottom of a €100,000 handicap hurdle at Leopardstown and we were thrilled with how he ran with a staying-on fifth on ground that was probably quick enough for him. We felt he didn’t need another run after that and he will go to Aintree fresh.
“Enjoy D’Allen will be our first runner in the race. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s such a big occasion and I think it will only really be when we get there that we will realise what’s ahead of us.
“In the build-up to the Irish National last year, he was showing us signs that he stays really well and that he jumped exceptionally well. His run in the Irish Grand National really confirmed that as he was staying on really well at the end and we thought then that we would have a crack at Aintree next year.
“He started off with 10st 5lbs in the handicap and is now on 10st 10lbs which I think should still be fine as he will be under 11st. We knew the weights were likely to go up and it still looks a lovely racing weight and I think he’ll be well able to carry that.
“I have dreamt of this for the last year. I have the horse for the race, and I’ve been thinking of nothing else. I’m trying to picture in my mind how we get there and what we do when get there. Aintree is the goal and I’m trying to visualise the best way to approach it and get the horse there in the best fitness and as healthy as possible.
“Winning the Grand National would be off the Richter Scale – you wouldn’t dare really think of it to be honest and if it happens, I’ll tell you what it really feels like!”