Bobbyjo Chase
Grade 2 Handicap, Fairyhouse 15:50
€28,500 guaranteed,
5yo plus,
3m 1f, Class 1   
Saturday 24th February 2024

Free Racing Tips

1 I Am Maximus EvsF
2 Vanillier 7/2
3 Minella Crooner 9/4
4 ran Dist 14,11,dist
Tme: 7m 13.40s (slow by 1m 2.40s)

I Am Maximus surged to the forefront of the Randox Grand National market with Quinnbet after a dominant performance at Fairyhouse. This race has historically served as a reliable indicator for the Aintree Grand National. Among the contenders was Vanillier, who entered the Bobbyjo Chase as the favorite for the April showpiece.

However, it was Willie Mullins’ charge, I Am Maximus, that stole the spotlight. Always poised in third position, I Am Maximus effortlessly took control before the second-to-last fence. Jockey Jody McGarvey never needed to push the even-money favorite, as they galloped to a commanding 14-length victory over their closest rival. Minella Crooner followed in third place.

The winning trainer told Racing TV: "He's a funny horse but he has huge ability and the older he gets the more he matures and that ability is coming out. I thought that was a huge performance to give that sort of weight to a horse like Vanillier. What he did from the second last time was fantastic. He's a Gold Cup horse in the making I think.

"That was a huge improvement. If I came up here today and he'd finished second to Vanillier I'd have been quite pleased going home. So to do what he did was a big jump in class."

"I'd imagine he'll go straight to Aintree now. We tend to run a horse in the Bobbyo and then go to the National. Timing wise it suits. That will be his calling next year but I'll have a chat with JP (McManus) and Frank (Berry) and see if they think the same as me and we'll prepare him as a Gold Cup hore next year."

Mullins is pleased with how his National team are shaping up.

"If Meetingofthewaters and Mr Incredible get things right they look great at the bottom end while up at the top we have Capodanno and I Am Maximus. The ones in the middle it might be a different story but if those four ran their races I'd hope they'd be there at the second last anyway," he added.

Free Racing Tips

Bobbyjo Steeplechase
€28,500 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 3m 1f, Class 1
4 ran
Going: Soft to Heavy

1    I Am Maximus 8 11-12 W P Mullins Jody McGarvey EvensF
14 Vanillier 9 11-0 Gavin Cromwell Sean Flanagan 7/2
11 Minella Crooner 8 11-3 Gordon Elliott Jack Kennedy 9/4
dist Fury Road 10 11-8 Gordon Elliott Jordan Gainford 20/1