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Fairyhouse

  • 16:50 Ladbrokes Irish Grand National Chase 3m 5f

  • (Grade A) €250,000 added 5yo+ 28 ran
  • Winner €141,000 2nd €48,500 3rd €23,500 4th €8,501
  • Going: Yielding to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 8m 4.00s
  • Off time: 16:50:27

Liberty Counsel was another surprise winner of the Irish Grand National

Last Updated: 01/04/13 6:08pm

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Liberty Counsel was a surprise winner of the Irish National

Liberty Counsel was a surprise winner of the Irish National

Liberty Counsel was another surprise winner of the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National Chase at Fairyhouse.

Six of the last 10 winners of the Easter marathon have been won by horses returned at 20/1 or bigger but none boasted a starting price as large as Dot Love's charge who was called home at 50/1.

The 10-year-old mare was last seen finishing down the field in the Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, so it was no surprise to see her sent off at big odds for this fiercely competitive contest.

Liberty Counsel was settled in the middle of the pack for the majority of the three-mile-five-furlong journey, but some fine leaps down the back straight brought her into contention.

Dalton was in front but hard at work turning for home and it appeared to be a question of when rather than if Away We Go would go past with jockey Paul Townend looking around for dangers after jumping the second-last fence.

There was little to choose between the pair jumping the final obstacle but she kept pulling out more for her conditional jockey and scored by half a length to deny Willie Mullins a first Irish Grand National.

Home Farm finished third and Sweeney Tunes fourth.

Dalton said: "The going was a big help to her. I thought if she was fifth or sixth it would have been a great run, but she's improving all the time. I knew she'd stay right to the line - she winged the last and kept finding more."

Denmark-born Love is known for pre-training some of the Gigginstown-owned horses and is the first female to train the Irish Grand National winner since Jenny Pitman, who struck with Mudahim in 1997.

Love said: "I'm over the moon. She deserved it. The ground didn't suit at Cheltenham, but she really tried there. She's a super mare and a very good jumper. Ben gave her a super ride. With a low weight and very good ground we were confident. I would have been happy if she had been fourth."

Part-owner Irene Neale said: "I'm on top of the world. It's the best day of my life apart from my daughter being born in 1986! She's a gutsy little mare and nearly died three times with ailments."

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