Mister Fogpatches’ team are looking for headgear in the Irish Grand National | Race News

Pat Fahy hopes the cheeks will act as an oracle for Mister Fogpatches during Monday’s BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.

Third close to Longhouse Poet in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January, the eight-year-old has suffered a series of near misses this season and has only managed to put his nose in front once in 13 tries on fences.

However, finding good ground has been problematic and after finishing sixth in his last race in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham, connections believe the headgear could help.

Fahy said: “He has great form and seems to be in good shape. I’m happy with the pitch. He could finally get his pitch back if the rain doesn’t come.

“Good ground helps his action and he can handle it very well, while other horses might not.

“That might give him a little edge.”

Patrick Mullins was on board for his last race, where he finished just sixth behind Chambard, and Fahy added: “I was very happy with his race at Cheltenham, even though it was not his ground.

“Patrick said the headgear might help him because he was losing focus as much as anything. The cheekbones might help him, so we’re going with that.

“He wants to see what’s going on. He’s very curious and Patrick felt at this part of the race he should shut him up and he didn’t want to do that that far so he just lost position.

“We have to go with the best man, you have to take advice from those kind of guys.”

Mister Fogpatches will assume a fighting weight of 10lbs and 6lbs with Danny Mullins taking over and hopes are high that he will become a contender for Aintree next season.

“It would be nice to win a big one, but winning an Irish National would be something else,” Fahy said.

“He’s in form, but has had a long season. If he arrives in the same form he was for the Thyestes, I imagine he would have a massive run. The pitch hasn’t helped him. He has trouble jumping off soft ground and doesn’t jump with the same ease – if it’s good ground, it’s not an effort for him, he just floats on it.

“We think he’s a stayer and think he’s an Aintree horse. We’re trying to get one of those runs but it didn’t work out for us so that’ll be the last hurray, but really his main focus (next year) will be the Grand National.

“He will have to move up in weight. If we could ever be sure that we would get there, we would aim for that for the rest of his career. He looks like that kind of horse.

“It would be nice to arrive fresh for this race.”

Sky Sports

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