FREEWHEELIN Dylan sprung the biggest shock in the history of the Irish Grand National when winning at a massive 150-1.
The nine-year-old made every yard of the running under young jock Ricky Doyle to bag the prestigious Fairyhouse feature.
It was a result that floored punters and saw bookies popping champagne corks on both sides of the Irish Sea.
But it was the stuff of dreams for Doyle, 26, and Dermot McLoughlin who trains just over a mile from Fairyhouse racecourse.
And there was no fluke about it as the aptly-named winner bowled along at the head of the 28-runner field.
He still travelled strongly on the long run for home but looked vulnerable as several runners, including 9-2 favourite Latest Exhibition, snapped at his heels.
Yet he found extra for pressure in first-time cheekpieces and fought off the attentions of Run Wild Fred to cause a giant upset.
Enjoy D’Allen was third at 40-1, with fourth-placed Latest Exhibition unable to pick up under his big weight in the closing stages.
Doyle grinned: “I can’t believe it. I thought it was too good to be true, his jumping was out of this world and he travelled so well.
“I could feel horses on my tail two out and I could feel him picking up, and I was thinking if there was still a circuit to go.
“I felt like I was in a dream the whole way round. This means everything to me, I wouldn’t care if there was nothing to the winner, I’m over the moon.”
McLoughlin added: “He won the Midlands National at Kilbeggan over 3m1f in the same way.
“Ricky got him into a great rhythm and the plan worked perfectly.
“I’ve always wanted to win this race, my father rode the winner of it in 1962, it’s an amazing day.”
Meanwhile, Jonjo O’Neill’s Cloth Cap remains the 4-1 favourite for Saturday’s Grand National following the final confirmation stage for the big race.
A total of 68 horses remain in contention for the world-famous steeplechase at Aintree, with the weights headed by Bristol De Mai.
Cloth Cap is set to carry 10st 5lbs – a full stone below the amount he would have to carry if the handicapper could reassess him before the race.
He is all the rage with punters, but there has been support for the Willie Mullins-trained Burrows Saint in recent days.
A Ladbrokes spokesperson said: “Cloth Cap has dominated the betting since Tiger Roll was ruled out and as he has a stone in hand on official ratings.
“He is unlikely to be shifted as favourite, but there has been interest in Burrows Saint and The Storyteller.”
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