Irish-trained horses took 15 of the 40 places in Britain’s most-popular horse racing event during the 2018 running of the event – the largest selection of Irish horses to date.
Reigning champion Tiger Roll, who is looked after by legendary trainer Gordon Elliott, is based on the emerald isle.
Tiger Roll is again among the favourites for the 2019 race, while another Irish horse, Bellshill – who is trained by Willie Mullins – is also hotly tipped for a good run.
But bookmakers have been forced to slash the odds of having no Irish-based horses run in the 2019 Grand National.
Paddy Power have halved the possibility from 33/1 to 16/1 after Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was soundly beaten in a Parliament record vote earlier this week.
The free movement of horses is now expected to be heavily affected because of the deal being turned down.
With a no-deal Brexit now likely and seemingly no end to the political chaos in sight, it is becoming more and more likely that there will be know Irish horses in this year’s Grand National.
The British Horseracing Authority have admitted that they are keeping a close eye on the Brexit developments to ensure that the April extravaganza still takes place.
“We are watching the political discussions around Brexit very closely and talk frequently to government,” a BHA spokesperson said.
“We are planning for a range of outcomes, and a successful running of the event in April.”
Betting industry experts are hopeful that this year’s Grand National will not be too badly affected – although they are wary that it could change the face of the sport in the future.
George Elek of Oddschecker said: “There doesn’t seem to be an industry that won’t be affected by the Brexit terms that are eventually agreed, and this is one of the many way in which sport as we know it could change.
“The Grand National is one of the sporting calendar’s highlights and would not be the same without Irish involvement. Thankfully the odds suggest that this outcome is still fairly unlikely, for the time being at least.”