Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

Empire Of Dirt In National And Gold Cup Markets

Empire Of Dirt won the Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan for trainer Gordon Elliott and is now quoted for both the Grand National and Gold Cup by William Hill.

William Hill price Empire Of Dirt as 20-1 joint-favourite for the Grand National, but have also installed him at 25-1 for the Gold Cup.

“Empire Of Dirt is improving all the time and it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility he could be a Gold Cup horse,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke. “If he heads to the Grand National at Aintree, then he tops our list of horses who could win it.”

A little closer to hand, Empire Of Dirt is 12-1 from 20-1 for the Welsh Grand National and 12-1 from 16-1 should he head to the Becher Chase.

Earlier on the card, Death Duty put in a winning Grade 3 performance, beating a decent field and he is 12-1 from 16-1 for the Albert Bartlett, 14-1 from 25-1 for the Neptune and 8-1 from 14-1 to win ANY race at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Min was impressive on his chasing debut and he is 9-2 from 6-1 to win the Arkle Trophy, plus 7-2 from 5-1 to win ANY race at the Festival.

Grand National: 20-1 Empire Of Dirt, The Last Samuri, 25-1 Don Poli, Many Clouds, Minella Rocco, The Young Master, 33-1 Alvarado, Cause Of Causes, Gilgamboa, Vicente, Viconte Du Noyer, 40-1 BAR (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3,4)

Cheltenham Gold Cup: 10-3 Thistlecrack, 5-1 Cue Card, 6-1 Don Cossack, 7-1 Coneygree, Douvan, 12-1 Djakadam, Valseur Lido, 14-1 Native River, 16-1 Vroum Vroum Mag, 25-1 Black Hercules, Empire Of Dirt, 33-1 BAR (EW 1/5 Odds Places 1,2,3)

Welsh Grand National: 6-1 Native River, 10-1 Caroles Destrier, 12-1 Empire Of Dirt, Minella Rocco, 14-1 Viconte Du Noyer, 16-1 Arpege D’Alene, Bishops Road, Emperors Choice, Firebird Flyer, Kaki De La Pree, Mountainous, O’Faolains Boy, Onenightinvienna, Saphir Du Rheu, Ucello Conti, Vicente, Viva Steve, Vyta Du Roc, Warrantor, 20-1 BAR (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3,4)

Arkle: 7-4 Altior, 9-2 Min, 5-1 Yorkhill, 7-1 Identity Thief, 14-1 Buveur D’Air, 16-1 Cloudy Dream, 25-1 BAR (EW 1/5 Odds Places 1,2,3)