Irish Grand National

Irish Grand National

The Irish Grand National is the most prestigious steeplechase race for horses in the Republic of Ireland and is held at the Fairyhouse Racecourse in County Meath. The race is traditionally held on Easter Monday and is the jewel in the crown of the Fairyhouse Easter Festival.


The Irish Grand National is the last of the four ‘Nationals’ to be held in the UK and Ireland and at 3 miles 5 furlongs it is also carries the shortest distance of the four. The Irish National is a handicap race for horses aged 5 years and over, and tends to attract some of the finest steeplechasers around.

The Irish Grand National is often used by trainers and punters alike as a marker for the Grand National at Aintree due to the level of stamina needed to perform well on the Fairyhouse track. Indeed, since 1987 no less than 5 of the Grand National Winners have also taken part in the Irish Grand National.

Irish National History

The Irish Grand National has produced some legendary winners over the years and was first run in 1870 when it was won by a horse called Sir Robert Peel. Perhaps the most famous winner of them all is Arkle who is considered by many to be the greatest steeplechaser of all time; he won the race in 1964. The most recent winner of the Irish National was Hear the Echo who came home as a 33/1 outsider in 2008. Another legend of the race is Tom Dreaper who trained 10 winners in total including an astonishing 7 in a row between 1960-1966.

Weight is an important factor when considering potential winners of the race with 9 of the most recent 10 winners weighing less than 10 stone 8 pounds in the handicap. Desert Orchid was the last horse to win at top weight when he won carrying 12 stone in 1990. Recent history shows that the majority of winners are not short priced with most falling between the 9/1 and 33/1 bracket which means there is high potential for the clever punter.

Irish Grand National Recent Winners

Ireland’s most valuable steeplechase is run over 23 fences and the winner needs a whole lot of stamina and heart. This is a list of the most recent ten winners.

2008Hear the EchoPaddy FloodMouse Morris
2007Butler's CabinTony McCoyJonjo O'Neill
2006Point BarrowPhilip CarberryPat Hughes
2005NumbersixvalverdeRuby WalshMartin Brassil
2004Granit d'EstruvalBrian HardingFerdy Murphy
2003TimberaJim CullotyDessie Hughes
2002The Bunny BoilerRoss GeraghtyNoel Meade
2001Davids LadTimmy MurphyTony Martin
2000Commanche CourtRuby WalshTed Walsh
1999Glebe LadTom RuddMichael O'Brien