Established in 1870, the first Irish Grand National was won by a horse called Sir Robert Peel. The race took place at Fairyhouse, which is also it’s current home, and the winner’s prize money was 167 sovereigns.
Over the years there have been significant connections with the John Smiths Grand National where many of the same horses have won both races – none in the same year however! The first to complete the double was Ascetic’s Silver, the winner of the latter version in 1906. More recently this has also been achieved by Rhyme ‘n’ Reason, Bobbyjo and Numbersixvalverde. Many other Irish winners subsequently go on to run in the Aintree Showdown such as Butlers Cabin, Bluesea Cracker and Niche Market – none though have had the same winning success.
The most successful jockey in the Irish Grand National is Pat Taaffe who has won the title an epic six times on Royal Approach (1954), Umm (1955), Zonda (1959), Fortria (1961), Arkle (1964), Flyingbolt (1966). On three of those occassions he raced for the most successful trainer, Tom Dreaper who has won the race 10 times with Prince Regent (1942), Shagreen (1949), Royal Approach (1954), Olympia (1960), Fortria (1961), Kerforo (1962), Last Link (1963), Arkle (1964), Splash (1965), Flyingbolt (1966).
The 2011 Irish Grand National was won by the Arthur Moore trained, six year old Organisedconfusion who also gave Nina Carberry her first National win and the first for a female jockey since 1984 when Ann Ferris won Bentom Boy.
The Ladbrokes Irish Grand National is scheduled to take place each year on Easter Monday and in 2012 this will be: Monday 09th April 2012.