The parade before the 2023 Irish Grand National

A horse by horse guide to the 13 Meath contenders in this year's Irish Grand National

Tom Gannon gives a horse by horse guide to the 13 Meath trained horses contending this year's Irish Grand National

13 of the 26 remaining contenders in Monday's Irish Grand National are trained locally in Meath. If recent history is anything to go by, the winner of the race could very well be among them. Three of the last five winners have been trained in the Royal County. However, before General Principle won in 2018, only three Meath-trained horses had been successful in the race since the turn of the century.

Tom Gannon runs through the 13 contenders trained in Meath, likely to go to post this Monday at 5 pm.

Intense Raffles

Trainer: Tom Gibney

Odds Atom(At time of writing): 7/1

Rating: 10/10

Tom Gibney's six-year-old is the shortest-price contender on this list and with good reason. He has had two successful outings since moving to the yard, both of which were in Fairyhouse. The second of which was very impressive when he won by a staggering 43 lengths. There has only been one six-year-old winner of the race in the last 10 renewals, but Intense Raffles may have what it takes to overcome that negative stat.

Hartur Darc

Trainer: Gavin Cromwell

Odds Atom: 9/1

Rating: 7/10

Gavin Cromwell's shortest-priced competitor, changed stables from the aforementioned Tom Gibney, and, not unlike Intense Raffles, has won his two starts since. His latest win came in the competitive Leinster National at Naas. However, that run was only three weeks ago. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that Hartur Darc can overcome that quick turnaround and if he does, he will be there or thereabouts at the end of it.

Yeah Man

Trainer: Gavin Cromwell

Odds Atom: 10/1

Rating: 9/10

This horse showed his credentials for the race when becoming the first Irish-trained winner of the Grand National trial handicap chase at Haydock in February. That day Cromwell's charge had Chambard well beaten, who subsequently didn't disgrace himself in a grueling renewal of the Ultima at Cheltenham. Yeah Man ticks a lot of the right boxes for the race.

Good Time Jonny

Trainer: Tony Martin

Odds Atom: 16/1

Rating 5/10

One positive going for Good Time Jonny is that the Cheltenham 2023 winner did skip this year's festival in favour of staying fresh for a crack at this. If you go purely by form, it is very hard to see him reversing the form with Intense Raffels, even considering the weight shift.

Where it all began

Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Odds Atom: 16/1


Where it all began was only beaten four lengths by Intense Raffles when conceding weight to him in Fairyhouse in January. That piece of form puts him into the mix. However, the fact that he had such a hard race when finishing 3rd in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham only 18 days before his tilt at this is a huge negative.

Favori De Champdou

Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Odds Atom: 20/1

Rating: 8/10

Favori De Champdou is a very interesting runner for Gigginstown, who have won three of the last 10 runnings of the Irish Grand National. He has been running against top-class horses this year and his last two efforts suggest that connections had bigger targets in mind for him. This could be said big target. His weight is a slight negative but he has not been harshly treated either. In a weak renewal of the race, he has shown he has the class to go very close.


Trainer: Dermot McLoughlin

Odds Atom: 25/1

Rating: 5/10

Digby won a competitive novice hurdle at last year's Easter festival and despite not winning, has always run his race on his outings this season. His trainer knows what it takes to win this race having trained two of the last three winners. A career-best performance certainly puts him in the frame but he might find a few too good for him on the day.

Frontal Assault

Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Odds Atom: 33/1

Rating 3/10

This nine-year-old was 2nd in the 2022 renewal of the race but it is hard to see him repeating that performance. He has never won a chase over three miles plus despite numerous attempts. History suggests that that is a massive negative. He has been soundly beaten by some of his rivals in the race on a couple of occasions this year. His run in the Leinster National was promising but a full recovery from that race will be needed if he is to get anywhere near the frame.

Cool Survivor

Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Odds Atom: 40/1

Rating 7/10

Considering how talented this horse was as a novice chaser last season, his odds here are probably slightly on the larger side. He comes in here off a lovely mark and will have little weight on his back. He did not get as hard a race as his stablemate Where it all began in Cheltenham but the fact that he turned up there is still a little bit of a concern. He didn't disgrace himself in the Leopardstown chase and if he has recovered from Cheltenham, he could run a big race.

Farouk D'Alene

Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Odds Atom: 50/1

Rating 1/10

No horse in recent memory has won the Irish Grand National with the number 1 on their back. A talented horse in his own right but he has nowhere near the amount of class needed to carry top weight in an Irish National and win.

Run Wild Fred

Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Odds Atom: 50/1

Rating 2/10

Nine of the last 10 winners of the race have been 9 years old or younger, this lad is 10. He has not done anything extraordinary since falling in both the Irish and English Grand Nationals in 2022. He pulled up in Cheltenham last time out and again any sort of a run there is a negative considering the quick turnaround.

Diol Ker

Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Odds Atom: 80/1

Rating 5/10

Another 10-year-old outsider of Elliott's, but this lad may have a slightly better chance than his stablemate Run Wild Fred. Since beating at the time very talented Monkfish as a young horse, the former Leinster National winner has always run well enough in big handicap chases. He hasn't shown much of late but he is not carrying a lot of weight considering what he has done in his career. He might run an okay race at massive odds.

Royal Thief

Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Odds Atom: 100/1

Rating 4/10

Similar to Diol Ker and Run Wild Fred in that history suggests age is against this lad. You have to go back to his win in January 2023 to find form to suggest he might have a chance here but he did win well that day. Again massive odds but if you are looking for an outsider, he isn't a bad option.