Irish National hero Freewheelin Dylan heading to Punchestown

Irish Grand National winner Freewheelin Dylan is on course for the Punchestown Festival.

Dermot McLoughlin’s nine-year-old caused a 150-1 shock in the BoyleSports-sponsored showpiece at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday.

McLoughlin already has his sights fixed on Aintree next April – but for this campaign he will sign off closer to home.

“It gave everyone in the yard a great lift. It’s a race I always wanted to have runners in with my father having won it, and he must have been looking down on me,” said McLoughlin, whose stable star was given a brilliant front-running ride by Ricky Doyle.

“I think we’ll have a look at the Pat Taaffe in Punchestown. He’s had a good break and we’re only starting him back this week.

“He’s small and a very easy horse to train. He doesn’t take much work.

“He’s going to be aimed at the English National next season, but he’ll need to go up a few pounds to get in. He went up 8lb for winning at Fairyhouse.”

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