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Fairytale result as minnow lands big race

Story by Meath Chronicle Sports

Wednesday, 11th April, 2012 5:00pm

Fairytale result as minnow lands big race

Over the last in the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National and Andrew Thornton on Thomas Gibney-trained Lion Na Bearnai (left) pursues Out Now and goes on to win the feature Easter Monday race.

"Unbelievable" was a word much uttered in the winners' enclosure at Fairyhouse on Monday after Lion na Bearnai scored a sensational victory in the Irish Grand National.

Trainer, Tom Gibney, jockey Andrew Thornton, and Tom Gilsenan of the owning syndicate all used the word to describe winning the 2012 Fairyhouse Irish Grand National on Monday.

But there was no denying the four and a half length win in the renewal that saw only nine of the 29 starters completing the circuit, giving the Kilskyre-owned horse a 33/1 victory.

It was a fairytale come true for the small group of Kilskyre connections, friends since schooldays, and their Navan jockey, facing the might of powerful stables and owners for the €141,000 first prize.

The horse - the name translates as 'fill the gaps' - was bought for less than €9,000 at Tattersalls about five years ago Gilsenan explained. The 10-year-old hadn't been raced too much over the past few years, but provided Gibney and Thornton with a 50/1 win in the Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan in February.

To read the full story see this week's Meath Chronicle.

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