Prince De Beauchene, who had been second favourite for the Grand National, has been ruled out of the race on 6 April. His trainer, Willie Mullins, placed a statement on his website on Tuesday evening, reporting that the horse had sustained a stress fracture to a hip bone.
It is the second consecutive year that the horse has been a late withdrawal from the Aintree race, as he suffered an identical injury in the build-up to the 2012 renewal, for which he was also fancied. He got three days closer to the race this time.
"We have had some bad news about Prince De Beauchene," Mullins wrote on the front page of his website. "He had not been striding out for the last few days and, following a bone scan in Troytown Veterinary Hospital, it has been confirmed that he has a minor stress fracture in his ilium. He will require at least six weeks' box rest, so unfortunately he will miss the Aintree Grand National."
The news was delivered in no other way and most people became aware when Prince De Beauchene's odds on the Betfair website drifted alarmingly towards 100-1. He had been no bigger than 12-1 with conventional bookmakers.
Mullins still has a strong hand for the National a week on Saturday, led by the favourite, On His Own, who is owned, like Prince De Beauchene, by Graham Wylie. The unlucky Wylie is also the owner of Tidal Bay, ruled out of the National when a stress fracture to a cannon bone was discovered in February.
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