16/1 shot Rogue Angel produced a game front-running performance to beat Bless the Wings in an exciting climax to the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse prompting bookies to slash his odds for the upcoming Crabbie’s Grand National.
The first time jockey Ger Fox jumped aboard Rogue Angel was in the Guinness Kerry National Handicap Chase at Listowel in September. He was an 8/1 shot and was trailing to Urano beforemounting a great comeback to take the spoils.
So who better to take the mount for trainer Mouse Morris when Rogue Angel entered the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse? Fox once again grabbed the reins, pulled out that whip, and roared to victory in much the same way.
The eight-year-old was looking likely to finish behind Bless the Wings and the highly experienced Ruby Walsh after they hit the ground in the lead after jumping the last fence. But there’s fight in this horse. Rogue Angel fired steam out of those nostrils and eventually won by a short head.
It’s the third success at the Irish Grand National for Morris. He rode the winner Billycan in 1977 and was the trainer for Hear the Echo when it won back in 2008.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Morris after the win, “Tiffer (Christopher) was looking down on me today. He helped me there. That’s just special.”
Morris was referring to his son who tragically died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning while visiting Argentina last summer.
Rogue Angel was a 16/1 shot to win the Irish Grand National. The Crabbie’s Grand National takes place on Saturday, April 9, and most bookmakers moved immediately to slash the odds of the Irish Grand National winner.
Speaking to the press after his second win on Rogue Angel Fox said, “I’m still pinching myself – I can’t believe it. This is my local track, and I’m just trying to take it all in. It’s brilliant.”
2016 Crabbie’s Grand National started with 126 horses, the highest since 2008; that’s since been whittled down to 96 runners with last year’s winner Many Clouds the 8/1 favourite to win the £1m first prize.