Lion Na Bearnai wins Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse

Andrew Thornton rides Lion Na Bearnai (centre) to victory at Fairyhouse
Andrew Thornton rides Lion Na Bearnai (centre) to victory at Fairyhouse

Lion Na Bearnai provided trainer Tom Gibney and jockey Andrew Thornton with the biggest successes of their careers by winning the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday.

The 10-year-old showed stamina in abundance to see off Edward O'Grady's Out Now (14-1) after the final fence.

The winner returned at 33-1 and won by four and a half lengths.

Jonjo O'Neill's Alfie Sherrin (10-1) ran another good race in third, with Paddy Pub (20-1) fourth.

Lion Na Bearnai, owned by the Meath-based Lock syndicate, had won the Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan in his previous outing.

Arabella Boy had made the early running, before Deal Done hit the front, then Out Now was in front, before falling back to take second.

After the three-mile-five-furlong race, Gibney, who trains only a handful of horses near the track, said the winning horse had been "unbelievably brilliant".

"We were confident, but were afraid to say anything prior to the race," he added.

The winning jockey said his mount had been "so easy to ride".

"Full credit goes to the horse - he hit the front and just battled and battled, this is the biggest moment of my career," enthused Thornton.