Irish trainer Enda Bolger has three entries into the 2014 Crabbies Grand National, any of which, on the day, are capable of causing an upset.
Bolger, who is best known for his training of Cheltenham champions, Garde Champetre and L’Ami, has Mossey Joe, Quantitativeeasing and Quiscover Fontaine all currently in contention although sitting on spot 94, it doesn’t look like Quiscover Fontaine will get to the starting line-up without a hugely significant number of withdrawals over the coming scratching periods.
In the past Bolger has saddled five Grand National runners, with Spot Thedifference giving him his best finish in 2004 when he placed 5th but this year it’s Mossey Joe who’s caught the eye of many savvy punters over the last few weeks and at ante-post odds of 33/1 looks like a sure fire each-way bet in the making.
But Bolger has only been training him since January 29th 2014 when new owner, Barry Connell, bought him at public auction for £160K and promptly sent him to the co. Limerick handler. He hasn’t run since last June and Bolger plans to ease him into things but sending him to a PTP tomorrow to give his legs a stretch.
Talking about his chances Bolger said: “I think he looks highly rated for a hunter chaser, but all his best form seems to be in the latter half of the season. We intend to give him a run in a point-to-point on Sunday. He’s settled in fine.”
Many have speculated that this is a prep race for the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 15th, for which he is already the favourite but doesn’t neccessarily rule out a trip to Aintree as well.
Nine-year-old Quantitativeeasing looks to be in decent shape after a short unsettled spell at the end of last season where he both pulled-up and unseated in back-to-back races. The summer break appears to have done him some good but similar to the Mossey Joe route, his last race out was also a PTP at Nenagh at the end of January.
Bolger said: “I don’t think he is qualified to run in the race yet, so we are running out of time as the ground has been so heavy.”
He’s referring to the fact that Quantitativeeasing has never placed beyond three miles which is a requirement for the Grand National. But he too is entered at Cheltenham for the Glenfarclas Chase which, if he’s successful, would give him that elusive spot in the starting forty.