Notre Pere among National hopefuls

Notre Pere has been declared for Monday’s Powers Whiskey Irish Grand National, despite Jim Dreaper admitting to concerns about the ground being faster than ideal.

Notre Pere has been declared for Monday’s Powers Whiskey Irish Grand National, despite Jim Dreaper admitting to concerns about the ground being faster than ideal.

The mudlark won the Welsh National at Chepstow in December but was forced to miss the Cheltenham Festival with a slight setback, leaving connections to target the three-mile-five contest.

However, Dreaper said yesterday that it was “pretty unlikely” he would take his chance unless rain arrived.

Ante-post favourite Wichita Lineman is next in the weights with Tony McCoy on board.

The champion jockey earned plenty of plaudits for his ride on Jonjo O’Neill’s novice in the William Hill Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when he got up in the shadow of the post to deny Maljimar.

Tom Mullins’ Chelsea Harbour, an early casualty at Aintree last week, is another among a maximum field of 30, as is first-fence faller Himalayan Trail.

Mullins’ brother Willie has declared three, Arbour Supreme, Emma Jane and Pomme Tiepy, the mount of Ruby Walsh.

As well as Wichita Lineman Bob Buckler’s Niche Market and Ferdy Murphy’s Poker De Sivola make the trip over from England.

Davy Fitzgerald is doubly represented with Operation Houdini and Skip Two, Dessie Hughes has Vic Venturi, Rare Bob, Justpourit and Oulart while Tony Martin has Royal County Star, Drumconvis and Newbay Prop.

Noel Meade’s Casey Jones, Edward O’Grady’s Forest Leaves and Enda Bolger’s Festival winner Garde Champetre are other notable contenders.

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