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Lough to swerve National

Carlingford Lough, joint top-weight for the Crabbie's Grand National, has been ruled out of the Aintree centrepiece on April 11.

The JP McManus-owned nine-year-old claimed the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on his penultimate start, but failed to provide Tony McCoy with a final Cheltenham Gold Cup success, finishing ninth behind Coneygree.

John Kiely's charge heads the weights for the National, along with last year's Gold Cup hero Lord Windermere, but he will not be heading to Merseyside.

McManus' racing manager Frank Berry said: "That (Grand National) won't be happening."

The County Waterford trainer raised the possibility of Carlingford Lough lining up in the Punchestown Gold Cup, depending on how quickly he recovers from his Cheltenham exertions.

Kiely said: "He's come back fine. We agreed the ground probably wasn't ideal, but I'm not sure he would have been good enough anyway.

"I think we'll give our horse a break for a couple of weeks and see how he is after that.

"He could go to Punchestown, maybe."

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