The record of Irish Grand National winners turning up to Aintree the following year leaves a lot to be desired, but that does not deter from the fact that Lion Na Bearnai may be among those overpriced for Grand National victory this year.
All of the last seven Irish Grand National winners have gone for the double in the following year, with Numbersixvalverde completing a memorable moment with his success at Aintree in 2006.
However, the record of the Irish winners offers miserable reading since, with only Bluesea Cracker managing to complete the Aintree course in 2011, albeit down in 14th position.
Lion Na Bearnai did spring a surprise at Fairyhouse last April, but he is an out-an-out stayer and should conditions come up soft at Aintree, he could be a player.
In his only run since his Irish Grand National win, the 11-year-old went well for a long way in the Hennessy Gold Cup before pulling up.
It is also worth noting, that he has never been one to produce his best on a seasonal reappearance and so should come on for the run, while the yard of trainer Tom Gibney was suffering from a virus at the time.
A drop in official rating would also help his Grand National chances and if the handicapper drops him anywhere close to 140 for Aintree, this may prove a winnable mark.
Lion Na Bearnai is currently 33/1 to win the Grand National and none of the previous seven to come across the Irish Sea have gone off at a longer price.
Therefore, there is every chance that his price will shorten before Aintree, with five of the previous seven being sent off at 20/1 or lower.
His price is especially likely to shorten if running well in his next start prior to the Grand National, which could be the Bobbyjo Chase in late February at Fairyhouse.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date