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Acapella Bourgeois 25-1 from 50-1 for Grand National following Bobbyjo romp

Willie Mullins did not train Bobbyjo, but he has completely dominated the race at Fairyhouse named after Tommy Carberry's Grand National hero and the wide-margin victory on Saturday of mudlark Acapella Bourgeois was his fifth in a row, and his eighth in the last decade.

The 15-length win prompted BoyleSports to half Acapella Bourgeois' price for the Randox Health Grand National from 50-1 to 25-1 and Mullins said afterwards that Aintree was the most likely destination for his ten-year-old, especially if the ground was on the soft side.

The winning trainer said: "He's in the English and Irish Nationals. There are a lot of connections and they are probably more leaning towards Aintree. I'd imagine at the moment that's winning the vote in the Carlow camp. The weather will play a big part. We'll have to see what the long-range forecast is like.

"Conditions suited him great today. Very heavy ground and a good test of stamina is exactly what he wants. He jumped well today, better than he did at Gowran in the Thyestes. These were his ideal conditions and he won well."

This time last year Bellshill was Mullins' leading fancy for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and he was the pick of Ruby Walsh ahead of winner Al Boum Photo and Kemboy.

Things have gone pear-shaped since his Irish Gold Cup win of last February, but he showed a bit more of an appetite for the game here and completed a 1-2 for Mullins. However, he was still beaten 15 lengths and looks a pale shadow of the horse we were seeing 12 months ago.

"At least he ran today," Mullins reflected. "The fact he showed up is something as he didn't show up for the last two times at Leopardstown. Paul [Townend] said he still wasn't as happy with him as he could be, and he thinks there is more improvement to come. He won't go to Cheltenham anyway and the Irish National is a possibility for him."

The consistent Alpha Des Obeaux, who holds a Cheltenham Gold Cup entry and is 25-1 with Paddy Power for the Grand National, was sent off the 7-4 favourite but he had to settle for third, a head behind Bellshill.

Pleasant Company, who came so close to spoiling the Tiger Roll party in the 2018 Grand National, was beaten more than 46 lengths into fifth.

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