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Barry Connell sweet on Bello’s Irish National claims

Barry Connell is aiming to win the BoyleSports Irish National at Fairyhouse in his first season as a trainer with Espanito Bello.

Connell’s yellow and blue silks are a familiar sight on Irish racecourses, in fact Connell used to sport them himself for a lot of years.

It was only in July he took out a licence of his own, however, and the man who has seen his colours carried to victory by the likes of Martello Tower, Shinrock Paddy and The Tullow Tank believes the seven-year-old has all the right credentials, having looked a marginally unlucky loser in the Ten Up Novice Chase.

“He’s definitely on track for the National,” said Connell.

“I think he might still have won the Ten Up but for making the mistake at the last, I thought he was just getting the better of the argument at the time.

“The question going there was stamina but he stayed every yard of three miles in heavy ground, prior to that he’d only run over two-three. That showed that he should get the trip, though, and was the deciding factor of going down the National route.

“All his runs have been on soft or heavy ground. As long as there’s no good in the ground I think he’ll be fine, yielding will be fine.”

He added: “Fairyhouse always do a terrific job with the ground for this meeting.

“He’s going the right way and looks to have a bright future. The novices this year look a nice bunch and he’s up there with them.

“A few of the horses he’s beaten before are reopposing and this has been the target all along since the last day.”