Leading Grand National Fancy Pulled Out Due To Rating Dispute

Enda Bolger's potential Grand National fancy Auvergnat has been ruled out of the historic steeplechase after the trainer believes the handicapper has been harsh on his gelding.

Two weeks see's the next forfeit stage for trainer so to rule out there horses that won't be going to Aintree in April to compete for the Randox Health Grand National.

The J P McManus owned nine year old has raced three times this season and has looked a really smart talent over the larger distances and all roads seemed to lead to Aintree but his trainer has decided otherwise.

He started his campaign off at Galway back in October where it truly looked like a run to blow the cob webs away and get himself back fit for the new season as he finished a laboured 15/19 in a handicap hurdle.

Staying over hurdles, his net run came at Punchestown where again he didn't quite look at his best and the need to go chasing was apparent finishing middle of the road in a 18 runner field.

His last outing saw him thrive in conditions that he had been waiting for at Leopardstown in the Paddy Power Chase. He was going over fences for the first time this season and also tackling 3 miles for the first time.

He went on to score nicely, beating a 28 runner field and truly through his nam into the hat for the Grand National in April.

He won this race off a mark of 131 over the Christmas period and after this he officially was given a rise of 12lb in Ireland to now give him a higher and tougher mark of 143.

The reason why Enda Bolger is so bemused and the main thought behind withdrawing him from the Grand National is the handicapper for the big race has given him a rating of 152 off a weight of 10 stone 8lb.

Bolger told Press Association Sport: “We want to let ante-post punters know that Auvergnat will be taken out of the Grand National at the next available stage.

“I find it puzzling how wrongly handicapped he is compared to the other Irish horses.”

The nine year old had been a nice ante post price of 33/1 to land the spoils on Merseyside and would have attracted some attention if performing well in his next scheduled race.

The plan now for Auvergnat now seems to the Cheltenham Festival where he has an entry in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase where he is currently a best price at 7/1.

(Credit At The Races) British Horseracing Authority handicapper Martin Greenwood had said at Tuesday’s unveiling of the Aintree weights: “I found Auvergnat of Enda Bolger’s hard to weigh up.

“He has a lot of cross-country form and he was the hardest one I had to deal with.”

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