20/1 shot Thunder And Roses the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse today with Katie Walsh on board. Three runners for Gigginstown House Stud led turning into the home straight but it was Thunder And Roses who prevailed over Mouse Morris duo Rule The World and Band Of Blood who finished 2nd and 4th in the end respectively after Thunder And Roses stormed on to a four-and-a-quarter-length win over rivals. Third was Sizing Coal.
Walsh is the first female rider to win the race since Nina Carberry’s win in 2011 on Organisedconfusion. She said following her win,
“This is absolutely class. I’ve had some fantastic days, but this is an Irish National. They stopped in front and he kept going. It’s great for women in racing. He jumped fairly good, to be fair to him. Maybe at the ditch he wasn’t so good but, other than that, he was excellent.”
Trainer Sandra Hughes, daughter of the late Dessie Hughes, said,
“Katie was absolutely fantastic, she just suited him to a tee. She was brilliant and he (Thunder And Roses) was brilliant. He stays all day. I was a little disappointed with him at Cheltenham but he came out of it fine so we took our chance. We thought all year that this was the race for him. He stays and keeps going and he doesn’t mind that ground. Someone above was helping us out. Dad always loved this race and to do it for him is wonderful. Dad was with us all the way today. I have to give a big thanks to Michael and Eddie O’Leary (of Gigginstown) for letting me have the horse and train him for it. I’d say that’ll be him for the year.”
Well done to all concerned! 🙂