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Despair for new owner as £300,000 buy Blaklion misses Grand National

Blaklion: has been scratched from next week's Grand National
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Blaklion has been scratched from next week's Grand National at Aintree, where he was expected to make his debut for trainer Philip Kirby and new owner Darren Yates.

The ten-year-old, fourth in the 2017 Grand National when 8-1 favourite, was bought out of Nigel Twiston-Davies's yard in February for £300,000 plus VAT by ambitious owner Yates and sent to Kirby, who is having his best season with 40 winners and seven in the last 12 days.

The trainer said: "It's not good. Unfortunately he's got a problem this morning and he won't be running. He's hurt a back joint and I'm not going to try and push him back for next weekend.

"It's going to need more than a couple of weeks. It's not definite, but I'd say it's most likely that he won't run again this season. Darren, the owner, has taken it very well – or as well as you can." 

Blaklion had been a general 33-1 shot for the £1 million Randox Health-sponsored marathon on April 6 and was effectively number 12 on the list of weights following the scratching of topweight Bristol De Mai on Wednesday.

With the David Pipe-trained Daklondike also a non-runner among the entries, Valseur Lido is now guaranteed a run in the race, with Abolitionist and 12-1 shot Vintage Clouds the two sitting just outside the official 40-runner cut-off point at present.

However, in a further boost for that pair, Gordon Elliott, who trains favourite and defending champion Tiger Roll, revealed on Thursday that Alpha Des Obeaux will miss the race through injury, while stablemates Mala Beach and Shattered Love are both doubtful.

Yates has South Seas, a 150,000gns purchase also sent to Kirby, in the Unibet Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday, but his hopes for the spring double are now over following Blaklion's scratching.


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He was expected to make his debut for trainer Philip Kirby and new owner Darren Yates
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