Cheltenham Festival a possibility for Lion Na Bearnai

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Lion Na Bearnai could take up one of his two entries at Cheltenham after winning the Grade Two Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan.

The Powers Whiskey Irish Grand National is the 10-year-old’s main objective, but trainer Tom Gibney has not ruled out a run at the Festival.

“It was a surprise he won at Navan, but he’s a tough competitor and his experience in long-distance handicaps has clearly stood him in good stead,” said the County Meath handler.

“Our plan since he finished second in the Porterstown at Fairyhouse last year was the Irish National, and I don’t suppose he’d have any problems getting in now after that.

“I’ve also stuck him in what was the William Hill (JLT Speciality Handicap Chase) and the Kim Muir, but we’ll have to see.

“If he’s bouncing, I’d have to have a look at coming over.

“I’m a small trainer with five horses and to have a horse at his age who is clearly still progressing is unbelievable.”

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