Ten-year-old Blaklion was bought out of the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable last month and was set to make a debut appearance for owners Darren & Annaley Yates and trainer Phil Kirby in the 2019 Grand National, however he was taken out of a 4 1/4 feature last Friday and looks set to be out of action for the remainder of the season.
The trainer said:
“He’s got a back joint problem and he won’t be running next week.
“I’m disappointed, the owners really wanted to have a National runner and we’ve done everything we can to get him there in one piece.
“It’s not something that will stop him forever, but most likely for this season.”
The 2017 Becher Chase winner was attracting plenty of interest from punters and the latest development will doubtless be a massive disappointment both to the owners and trainer Phil Kirby, however the decision to withdraw him from the famous steeplechase wouldn’t have been one which was taken lightly and the likelihood is that he will aimed at the 2020 Grand National.
Prior to his withdrawal, Blaklion was a best price of 40/1 for Grand National success in what would have been his third appearance in the race. He finished an impressive fourth behind One For Arthur in the 2017 renewal but fell at the first lat year.