Ricky Doyle and Martin Brassil are most well known for their big National wins and they combined for another one in the Guinness Kerry National today as second reserve Desertmore House stayed on strongly on the run-in to take the €200,000 contest.

The eight-year-old novice looked unlikely to get a run this morning but following the defections of two Gordon Elliott-trained runners, he got into the race alongside British raider Captain Cottistock.

Sat in behind the leaders, he jumped and travelled well close to the rail for most of the journey for Doyle, who asked him to get closer after the third last. From here he gave chase to two Elliott runners, long-time leader Chemical Energy and the more threatening looking Salvador Ziggy, who moved well into the race for Jack Kennedy.

Desertmore House jumped the last alongside the latter mentioned and looked set for a tight battle but in the end, surged away to win by just under four lengths.

“It was kind of a late plan,” Brassil said. “When he won in Kilbeggan, he went to 135. He is a novice that jumps like a handicapper and I just wanted to get more experience into him. There is a Munster National coming up and the Troytown, and the Paddy Power, so there are a lot of options for a horse who jumps like that.

“Gordon rang me this morning and said you should put your horse on the box because I’ve one out and I’m going to walk the track and if I’m not happy I’m going to take the second one out, so that was a nice gesture.”

The son of Court Cave was winning on just his fourth start over fences. He is owned by Bernard Carroll and Anthony Vaughan, carrying the colours of the former mentioned, who Brassil famously trained Numbersixvalverde for to win the Grand National.

With so little few miles on the clock, Brassil didn’t rule Aintree as a possible long-term target.

“One of the first winners I trained was Section Seven for the owner, he started off in 1995 and won a bumper. We’ve had lovely winners since and Numbersixvalverde is the one that jumps out. This fella might start us dreaming again.

“He is eight so he has good time to mature and has good experience over hurdles. Denis Leahy won a point-to-point with him and I’d say did an awful lot of schooling with him because he is great to jump. It makes the job easier for us.

“Ricky was thrilled with him all the way. I said if you’re still travelling going to the third last, I said they’re not after going fast enough. I said make sure you’re in the van and they’ll quicken up from there but they’re going to have to stay as well. I’d say it rode a bit slower than they were expecting.”

For Doyle, it was a second big National win following his success on Freewheelin Dylan in the Irish Grand National in 2021. He goes back a long way with Brassil, so the victory was sweet.

“Nationals were a part of my history growing up, watching them,” Doyle said. “I grew up watching Martin win Nationals and all I wanted to do was to win a National for him. I didn’t care what National it was, up and down the country, or either side of the water, and I’m delighted it’s on the CV.

“I’m riding for Martin a long time. I remember being back in the bad snow of 2010, I was only 11 or 12 and I was going up and down on a horse called Ambobo, and I couldn’t move, I was freezing, it was absolutely baltic.

“I’m 18 years riding out for him now on and off but the early experience I had with him was very valuable and I’m delighted to be back riding out for him three days a week now.

"Martin has a great team of horses, he has JJ there riding them but if we’re first reserve we won’t complain about that.”

Salvador Ziggy kept on for second just ahead of Foxy Jacks who somehow kept going for third, having led most of the journey and then survived a huge error at the second last, with rider Gavin Brouder doing extremely well to stay in the saddle.

There was an interesting side plot before the race when it emerged the Gordon Elliott was refused permission to switch riders on his horse Gevrey. Following the decision to declare Ash Tree Meadow a non-runner, Elliott wanted to put that horse's initial rider Danny Gilligan on Gevrey, but in an interview on Racing TV, revealed that Brian Hayes wanted to keep the ride, which he described as disappointing.

Gevrey was in contention until making a significant error at the third last, Hayes doing well to stay in the saddle. The horse was pulled up shortly after that fence.