Dermot McLoughlin’s ‘Freewheelin’ team eye Irish Grand National repeat


Dermot McLoughlin is delighted with back-to-back Irish Grand National victories aboard Freewheelin Dylan, provided the sun continues to shine ahead of Easter Monday’s spectacle.

The 10-year-old was a surprise 150/1 winner of the BoyleSports-sponsored event at Fairyhouse last year and next month he will be vying to become the first to defend the crown since Brown Lad successfully did so in 1975-’76 .

“He just seems to have come to life with a bit of sun on his back this time of year.” said McLoughlin.

“The horse seems to be in good shape and we are looking forward to it. He seems to be really enjoying this season of changing terrain.”

Freewheelin Dylan is a 25/1 shot, but the Meath trainer’s other two entries – Lord Lariat and Opposites Attract – are unlikely to make the cut with a star-studded opposition standing in his way.

National Hunt Chase winner Stattler is the 9/1 favorite, leading a 16-man team from Willie Mullins while Gordon Elliott has a whopping 24 of the 95 entries.

Cross Country Chase winner Delta Work and topweight Galvin, fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, are on his team, while last year’s England national hero Minella Times could also fill in for Henry de Bromhead. Dermot McLoughlin’s ‘Freewheelin’ team eye Irish Grand National repeat

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