Willie Mullins will hope to land a first Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse and Bellshill is amongst his contenders for the prize.
Ireland’s champion trainer is facing a battle to hold onto his crown, with Gordon Elliott currently leading the race.
Elliott is also after a first success in the Easter Monday showpiece at Fairyhouse and the Co Meath handler is set to fire 13 of the 30-runner field in search of that elusive win.
It’s not going to be easy for him with that weight, but he is a Grade One winner and is entitled to carry it.
With a first prize of €270,000 on offer, victory for either trainer could be a big moment in the trainers’ title race.
Bellshill has won three of his four completed starts over fences so far, his only defeat coming when third behind Might Bite in last season’s RSA at Cheltenham.
Last time out he was an impressive winner of the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse. He carries a big weight in the National (11st 5lb) but Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, feels the Grade One hurdles scorer is capable of defying it.
“Bellshill was good in the Bobbyjo and we’ve been happy with him since,” said Mullins.
“It’s not going to be easy for him with that weight, but he is a Grade One winner and is entitled to carry it.
“We wouldn’t be surprised if he’s better than his mark and obviously there is huge prize money on offer.”
Irish Grand National Odds
Elliott’s hopes could be led by Thyestes winner Monbeg Notorious, 10/1 to score under Jack Kennedy. Mall Dini, just denied in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham last month, is an 8/1 hope for trainer Pat Kelly.
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