General Principle swoops late to give Gordon Elliott first Grand National win

General Principle swoops late to give Gordon Elliott first Grand National win
Trainer Gordon Elliott after sending out General Principle to win the BoyleSports Irish Grand National Steeplechase on Day 2 of the Fairyhouse Easter Festival at Fairyhouse Racecourse in Meath. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile.

General Principle got up on the line to claim a thrilling renewal of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.

Title-chasing trainer Gordon Elliott fielded 13 of the 30 runners in the three-mile-five-furlong showpiece in a bid to win it for the first time and significantly boost his hopes of being crowned champion trainer, with a total prize fund of 500,000 euros up for grabs.

For much of the way Bellshill looked in control of the race for reigning champion Willie Mullins, also aiming to win his first Irish Grand National.

Ridden by David Mullins, the eight-year-old looked to have everything covered before putting the brakes on approaching the final fence.

He managed to get to the other side, but the chasing pack mowed him down and just when it looked like his stablemate Isleofhopendreams was going to claim National glory, 20-1 shot General Principle and jockey JJ Slevin lunged late.

After a brief wait, the judge confirmed Elliott's charge had won the day.

Forever Gold and Bellshill were third and fourth respectively.

ockey JJ Slevin after winning the BoyleSports Irish Grand National Steeplechase with General Principle on Day 2 of the Fairyhouse Easter Festival at Fairyhouse Racecourse in Meath. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile.
ockey JJ Slevin after winning the BoyleSports Irish Grand National Steeplechase with General Principle on Day 2 of the Fairyhouse Easter Festival at Fairyhouse Racecourse in Meath. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile.

- PA

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