/ Racing

Jim Dreaper hoping for favourable Irish National ground

Updated: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 09:22 | Comments

Los Amigos' chances of taking the Irish Grand National will be improved by soft ground
Los Amigos' chances of taking the Irish Grand National will be improved by soft ground

Jim Dreaper wants cut in the ground for Los Amigos and Goonyella ahead of the Boylesports Irish Grand National Chase at Fairyhouse on Monday.

Although the County Meath handler questioned whether the consistent Los Amigos can go the distance, Dreaper is convinced his other National candidate fulfils the criteria to win the race.

Goonyella failed to make the cut as a reserve for the Grand National at Aintree and was unlucky at Fairyhouse 12 months ago when his saddle slipped.

Dreaper told the Irish Examiner: "My pair's chances increase if the ground turns up soft, and I'm expecting them to encounter perfect ground.

"I'm not certain if Los Amigos stays three miles and five furlongs. There's an assumption that horses who stay three miles will get anything beyond that trip, but I'm not so sure.

"He won over hurdles before Christmas then finished second in the Thyestes to On His Own before finishing third to Gallant Oscar at Naas.

"Goonyella travelled to Aintree a couple of weeks ago but didn't get in and that could have been a blessing from God.

"If he had run there, or had managed to go any distance around, then he wouldn't be running this Monday.

"In last year's Fairyhouse National we thought he was well handicapped but his saddle slipped quite early so that was that. But I'm certain Goonyella has the winning of a Grand National in him.

"Seven-year-olds have a terrible record in the race, and that's not a fantastic statistic to be faced with, but he's in terrific form here at home so we're heading to Fairyhouse to have a go.

"Goonyella and Los Amigos are two improving horses and two genuine stayers. They're heading to Fairyhouse fit and healthy, and definitely have their chances."

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