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Lion 50-50 for Aintree

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Tom Gibney aboard the winner of last year's Irish Grand National Lion Na Bearnai. Picture: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile.

Tom Gibney aboard the winner of last year's Irish Grand National Lion Na Bearnai. Picture: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile.

Tom Gibney aboard the winner of last year's Irish Grand National Lion Na Bearnai. Picture: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile.

LAST year's Irish Grand National hero Lion Na Bearnai faces a race against time to be fit for the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree on April 6.

 There were 16 horses taken out at the latest stage, Albertas Run, Quito De La Roque, The Package and Alfie Sherrin are among those who will not be running in the famous race.

Lion Na Bearnai's trainer, Tom Gibney, has had no end of problems with the 11-year-old since his famous victory at Fairyhouse. He has only run once this term, in the Hennessy at Newbury on December 1.

Gibney said: "It's been little things; mine were sick in October and we thought he was okay for the Hennessy but it turned out he wasn't, so then he needed more time off.

"Then he had trouble with a hind leg, it gives him trouble every year. That was before the Bobbyjo, which was supposed to be his prep race, and then there was a bit of ringworm in the yard. I'd say at the minute it's 50-50 whether he makes Aintree."


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