LION NA BEARNAI was the surprise winner in a thrilling finish at the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse this afternoon.
Tom Gibney’s 33/1 shot, under Andrew Thornton, held off Out Now to win by four and a half lengths.
“I only have the five horses and this is unbelievable, just brilliant,” Gibney said afterwards. ”The last day was the real shock and we were confident coming here but we were afraid to say it.
“Andrew is a brilliant rider — much under-rated and he gave him a copybook ride, the whole thing was copybook. He is only a pony and anyone could ride him at home.”
Thornton added: “That’s absolutely unbelievable and full credit to the horse. He is tough and he jumped like a stag. He is very gutsy and never put a foot wrong. I was squeezed for room at the fence in front of the stands but otherwise everything went great through the race.”
Earlier, Get Me Out of Here won the Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle, seeing off the challenge of favourite Oscars Well with Tony McCoy on board.