Don Poli set for National absence

Eddie O’Leary, racing manager for Gigginstown House Stud, has revealed Don Poli is unlikely to race in the Grand National.

The most valuable jumps contest in Europe takes place at Aintree on April 8 but there have already been some notable withdrawals from the Gigginstown camp for the coveted race.

Both Outlander and Empire Of Dirt, who were in the top four horses in the weights, have been confirmed as absentees and it appears another from that yard will be missing.

Don Poli has been in promising form since being switched to trainer Gordon Elliott and the eight-year-old has finished second in the Lexus Chase and third in the Stan James Irish Gold Cup.

Many betting outlets have the gelding as favourite for the Grand National but O’Leary has now revealed the Gigginstown-owned star is unlikely to feature.

“A handicapper is meant to be impartial. What I’d call the National now is a pre-Brexit, post-Brexit handicap,” he told the Irish Independent. “We’ll run very, very few in the race. Don Poli is doubtful, while Outlander is ruled out. Empire Of Dirt won’t go.”

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