INTENSE Raffles recorded a popular victory in the €500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse for Trim, Co Meath, trainer Tom Gibney and Wexford-born rider J.J. Slevin.

The 13/2 second favourite was never out of the first two throughout the race and, despite making a shuddering mistake at the fourth last fence, the grey six-year-old took up the running on the approach to the second last fence and stayed on gamely to repel the veteran Any Second Now by around two lengths.

Minella Cocooner finished third, the front-running Frontal Assault took fourth and outsider History Of Fashion was fifth.

Slevin, who won the race in 2018 on General Principle, was quick to mention jockey Daryl Jacob who was due to ride Intense Raffles but for suffering an injury last week.

"Let's not forget Daryl who is watching fron home," he said. "This will be tough for him to take. I was very fortunate to pick up the ride.

"I called up to Tom during the week and he said 'I think he'll win' and he was right."

Gibney, who won the race with Lion Na Bearnai in 2012, thanked owners Simon Munir and Isaac Soude for sending him Intense Raffles, who was previously trained in France. The horse has now won all three of his starts for Gibney, all at Fairyhouse.