/ Racing

Lion Na Bearnai plan revealed with visit to the Curragh on card before the English National

Updated: Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 11:19 | Comments

Lion Na Bearnai
Lion Na Bearnai

Thomas Gibney is confident his veteran chaser Lion Na Bearnai remains at the top of his game ahead of his tilt at the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree next month.

The 2012 Irish Grand National hero only made two appearances last season, pulling up in both the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and the Scottish Grand National during a campaign when Gibney's yard was under a cloud.

However, the 12-year-old has shown some of his old sparkle this term, winning at his beloved Fairyhouse on his penultimate start before finishing fourth behind subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up On His Own in the Bobbyjo Chase.

Gibney plans to give his charge some practice over Grand National-type fences in the coming days and is excited about the prospect of running his stable star in the world's most famous steeplechase on 5 April.

"The National fences should be going up at the Curragh shortly, so we'll probably give him a spin over those fairly soon," he said.

"He's a 12-year-old, but I think his win in Fairyhouse showed he's as good as he ever was.

"Time will tell whether he takes to Aintree and ideally we'd like wet, loose ground.

"I'm happy with the horse and it's all systems go."

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