Freewheelin Dylan caused a seismic shock with a 150-1 victory in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
Dermot McLoughlin’s charge was widely unconsidered for the €400,000 showpiece on what was his first appearance since finishing last of eight runners at Punchestown in October.
However, ridden brilliantly by Ricky Doyle, the nine-year-old was in front after jumping the first fence and was never headed.
Thyestes Chaser runner-up Run Wild Fred looked a big danger rounding the home turn, but could never quite get on terms with Freewheelin Dylan, who galloped all the way to the line for a one-and-a-quarter-length win.
Run Wild Fred was a clear second, with Enjoy D’allen third and 9-2 favourite Latest Exhibition a creditable fourth under the welter burden of 11st 10lb.
McLoughlin said: “It’s great – it went to plan. I said to Ricky ‘he likes to bowl along in front and jumping is his forte, so use him up’.
“I was a bit concerned about not getting a run into him. I said turning into the straight that we’d better start shouting, because I knew he’d stay going.”
He added: “It’s a race I always wanted to have runners in, let alone try to win it. My father (Liam McLoughlin) rode the winner in 1962 (Kerforo), so I was always trying to follow.
“We’re based three miles down the road and we’ll keep progressing the best we can.
“I was 47 the other day. We have good help and good staff and we have some nice horses.
“Coming here I thought we had a good chance and thankfully it’s worked out.”
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