Darasso Grand National Wins
Darasso has never won the Grand National.
They have never finished the race.
A graded winner, and a horse that has run at a very high level throughout his career, Darasso has been cared for by Joseph O’Brien during his time as a racehorse in Ireland. That’s not where he’s spent his entire career, though, as he began life in France, running to a very high level there before being sold and moving to Ireland.
Foaled in 2013, the horse quickly hit the ground running in both France and Ireland and continued those high levels throughout. He certainly cannot be described as a slow burner who took time to reach his peak, the opposite is true of this runner.
Before he ran in the 2023 Grand National, Darasso was never really seen as a strong stayer, so an entry in the race was somewhat of a surprise. In the race, we never got to see if the horse was able to stay the trip or not because he unseated his rider at the second fence.
|2023||Fence 2 - Unseated Rider||-||10-13||Luke Dempsey||Joseph Patrick O’Brien|
Darasso’s Early Years
Darasso began racing in France and had a total of nine runs in the country, all coming in the space of just over a year. He was very consistent, winning four of those, finishing second three times, third once and only failed to place in his final start, where he finished sixth.
Two wins came at listed level over hurdles, while the other two came over fences, but at a high level. His one move to graded company was the race where he finished sixth, this was a Grade Three handicap hurdle.
Bought by JP McManus, the horse would move to Ireland after this to be trained by Joseph O’Brien. Second on debut in a good race, he was soon up in class, running in a Grade Two hurdle, before winning a Grade Three hurdle and a Grade Two chase to round off his first Irish campaign.
A period of two seasons without a win would come next, but the horse was regularly running in graded company and running well, just not quite good enough to get a win on the board.
Darasso’s Big Race Wins
Those early graded wins in Darasso’s career came in the Red Mills Trial, a Grade Three Hurdle at Gowran Park, and the Webster Cup, a Grade Two Chase at Navan.
The horse had to wait two years for another win, not a big race, but not too long after that, he was back winning big races. In November 2021, he won the Grade Two Lismullen Hurdle at Navan to get back on track. A couple of months later, he went to Naas and won the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas, a Grade Three contest. A Grade Two hurdle win at Fairyhouse rounded off his season in good style, the horse was certainly back on track after those wins.
In the build-up to the Grand National, other than a Listed win at Thurles, the horse struggled a little, and in his two runs before Aintree, he finished last of four and fifth of six. Not the ideal set-up ahead of the big race, but as you can see from his overall career, when it comes to wins at Grade Two and Grade Three level, this is a horse that has been there and done it, time and time again, over both hurdles and fences.
From the moment he started racing in France, the horse has run at a high level, and that certainly continued when he moved to Ireland. He is a consistent horse, capable of mixing it up with most in racing and winning his fair share along the way.