Last Monday racehorse owner JP McManus and trainer Willie Mullins teamed up to win the Irish Grand National with I Am Maximus.

Like the Limerick hurlers, this is a team in top form, and it might be a good idea to stick with the duo in this Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree.

At time of writing, Mullins could have up to five runners in the race, and three of them – Capodanno, Gaillard Du Mesnil and Mr Incredible – are worth the proverbial euro each-way.

The champion trainer’s horses are running out of their skin at the moment – he had a record eight winners on Easter Sunday across Cork and Fairyhouse. It wouldn’t be a huge shock to see two or more of the Mullins team reach the places at Aintree on Saturday.

Capodanno is the only one of the five ‘WPM’ entries owned by JP McManus, and he looks to have been laid out especially for this race.

At seven years of age, he’s on the young side for the National, but last year’s winner was the same age and it’s generally accepted nowadays that the Aintree fences are not as difficult to negotiate as they were before the course was modified 10 years ago.


Ground conditions are said to be drying out at the Liverpool course this week and that will be perfect for Capodanno. He’s a horse who likes to race prominently, and that tactic tends to work well in this race. He’s a good jumper and his past record suggests he should stay the four and a quarter mile distance.

Last year’s first and second, Noble Yeats and Any Second Now, have plenty of weight and could struggle to make the frame, though at least we know they can jump around safely.

Even though approximately three-quarters of the 40-horse field are Irish-trained, there are a few of the home team who look to have strong claims.

The favourite Corach Rambler, trained in Scotland by Lucinda Russell, looks rock-solid and is carrying 10lb less than he would be if the handicapper was allowed to take the horse’s recent Cheltenham win into consideration.

Dan Skelton’s Le Milos and the Sam Thomas-trained Our Power are two others to include on your short-list.

But it does look like Willie Mullins is operating on a different level to his rivals in recent weeks and he is tipped to win the famous race for just the second time, following the victory of Hedgehunter in 2005.


1. Capodanno

2. Corach Rambler

3. Le Milos

4. Any Second Now