Magic of Light Grand National Wins
Magic of Light has never won the Grand National.
Their best finish to date was in 2019 where they came 2nd. They were ridden by Paddy Kennedy and trained by Jessica Harrington.
Magic Of Light’s first run under the guidance of her trainer Jessica Harrington was in the Listowel Vintners Association Flat Race for 5 to 7-year-olds in September of 2016. She led the way for a period of the race but fell away towards the end, finished 3rd out of the 8 horses that started the race. It gave her the confidence necessary to take the fight to the rest of the field in the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust Flat Race at Navan later in the year, handing the pressure well when she was racing down the final furlong to find the first win of her burgeoning career.
A decent stayer, she performed well over the National fences at the Curragh ahead of the main event back in 2019, which was enough to lead Harrington to believe that she had a decent outside chance even if no one else was all that convinced. Sired by Flemensfirth out of the US to the French Dam Quest of Passion and having a British Dam’s Sire in Saumarez, it’s fair to say that Magic Of Light has something of a cosmopolitan feel to her ancestry.
|2021||Fence 4 - Unseated Rider||-||10-13||Robbie Power||Jessica Harrington|
|2019||2||£200,000||10-11||Paddy Kennedy||Jessica Harrington|
Moving To The Jumps
Magic Of light saw out 2016 with another fall race before moving to the jumps with the Book Easter Festival Tickets Online At fairyhouse.ie Mares Maiden Hurdle in January of 2017. It was the largest field that she’d run in by that point, seeing 23 other others lineup alongside her and she acquitted herself well in this new environment, finishing 7th. She’d been tracking the leaders prior to a mistake at the 2nd but was still in 4th as the horses headed onto the straight.
She learnt from her experience and performed well in the Punchestown Festival Any Day Flexi Ticket Mares Maiden Hurdle, shifting up a smaller field of 15 to finish 4th. She improved again in March of 2017, heading to Thurles and coming in 2nd out of a field of 10 in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners E.B.F. Maiden Hurdle. In the world of movies her gradual improvement would have seen her end that run of improving form with a win in her next race, but her actual first win over jumps didn’t come until towards the end of April 2017.
Learning Winning Ways
That came in the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle back at Punchestown, when her form improved as the race wore on. She was 4th four from the end and 3rd as they jumped the last, showing her staying tendencies by closing down the leaders on the run-in before making it home at 11/1. That was another good performance in a big field, this time running alongside 24 other horses, and displaying an ability to mix it with the big crowds that is all important when it comes to running in the National.
She had five more races in 2017, in which she finished 2nd twice and 3rd once, falling in one of them and winning the other. The win came at Fairyhouse in the Fairyhouse Membership 2018 Beginners Chase, beating 12 other horses to the line. Given that her wins up to that point had come on Soft, Good and Soft Going, a pattern was beginning to emerge of her being a horse that enjoyed the slightly more forgiving turf. That’s not to say that she always won when the Going was Soft, of course, but her next win in the Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Handicap Chase at Punchestown very much did.
Enjoying The Big Occasion
Not all horses take to winning when the occasion becomes more special, but Magic Of Light has demonstrated a tendency to do just that. 2019 was the year that saw her begin to be asked questions on the more prestigious courses and her first such outing came in the January OLBG.com Mares’ Hurdle at Ascot. Admittedly better known as a flat racing course, Ascot’s jumps still ask questions of the horses that are presented to it and Magic Of Light responded well by winning from a field of 6. The key thing that form-trackers made note of was that she tracked well and moved clear 2 out, staying on strongly to see out the win.
The Going at Ascot was, you guessed it, Soft, just as it was for the Cheltenham Festival and the Ultima Handicap Chase that she finished 7th in out of a field of 24. It was the perfect preparation for the slog that is the Grand National, run over 3 miles and a furlong and offering 20 fences during the running. That might well be why she wasn’t intimidated by the 4 miles, 2 and a half furlongs that need to be run during the National, nor the 30 fences that have to be jumped in order to reach the end. As it happened she only needed to jump 29 fences in 2019, though that made no real difference to the length of the course. The Going was, unsurprisingly, Soft.
Magic Of Light wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near to the front of the queue in the 2019 running of the Grand National, with a Starting Price of 66/1. In the end, however, the mare gave eventual winner and defending champion Tiger Roll a bit of a scare, doing trainer Jessica Harrington proud in a season when she’d already won at Ascot and performed well in the Ultima Handicap Chase during Cheltenham Festival week.