White Star Line out of Grand National

White Star Line, Planet Of Sound and Merry King are three of the 15 horses to have been taken out of the Crabbie’s Grand National at the latest forfeit stage.

The Dessie Hughes-trained White Star Line has lost his race against time to be fit for Aintree while the Philip Hobbs-trained Planet Of Sound was unplaced in the BetBright Chase at Kempton last weekend, Jonjo O’Neill’s Merry King ran no sot of a race in the Grand National Trial at Haydock.

“He had a setback and I needed him to run in the Bobbyjo if he was going to make the National,” Hughes said of the Kerry National winner.

“I wanted him to have two races before it and we’ve run out of time now.

“I had hoped to get him there but it’s not to be. He might make the Irish National now.

“I’ve got Raz De Maree left in but he might struggle to get in.

“He’s a horse that hasn’t been helped to the changes to the course, it would have suited him when it took more jumping.”

Rubi Light, Midnight Appeal, Away We Go, Renard, Highland Lodge, Ikorodu Road, Liberty Counsel, Rockyaboya, Up The Beat, Orpheus Valley, Quel Espirt and Ringa Bay were also taken out.

One Irish hope still in contention is Arthur Moore’s Home Farm, due to run at Leopardstown this weekend.

“Home Farm will run at Leopardstown on Sunday. We will see how he gets on there before making a decision about the Crabbie’s Grand National, but we are expecting a nice run,” said Moore.

“He has been fine since his run at Christmas. It was a good run but it was a tough ask under top weight, so we were happy enough with him.

“I can’t complain with the weight he has been given for Aintree, 10st 6lb is a nice racing weight but naturally his lack of experience is a concern.”


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