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Ex-winner may miss Grand National cut

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Pineau De Re

Crabbie’s Grand National 2016
Venue: Aintree Date: Saturday, 9 April, 17:15 GMT
BBC coverage: Commentary and updates on Radio 5 live; live text commentary, pinstickers’ guide, sweepstake kit on BBC Sport website

The 2014 winner Pineau De Re is in danger of missing the cut for Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree.

Nine withdrawals have left 87 entries remaining for the £1m race, with a maximum of 40 horses allowed to run.

While 2015 runner-up Saint Are is now guaranteed a run, Pineau De Re trainer Dr Richard Newland needs at least three defections before Thursday’s deadline.

Lower-rated horses are balloted out, with The Romford Pele currently occupying the number 40 slot.

Pineau De Re – currently listed at number 43 – won the National two years ago under jockey Leighton Aspell, who also triumphed last year with Many Clouds for trainer Oliver Sherwood.

Latest odds
8-1 Many Clouds; 10-1 The Last Samuri; 12-1 Silviniaco Conti; 14-1 Holywell
16-1 The Druids Nephew, Saint Are, Cause Of Causes; 20-1 Shutthefrontdoor, Gooonyella; 25-1 Bar
(Approximate prices as of 13:30 BST, Monday 4 April)

Pineau De Re is now in the twilight of his career, at 13 – no horse of that age has won the National since Sergeant Murphy in 1923.

Many Clouds is 8-1 favourite to become the first horse since Red Rum in the 1970s to win consecutive runnings, and victory would make Aspell the first rider to triumph three years on the trot.

Other leading contenders include the two-time King George VI Chase winner Silviniaco Conti, for champion trainer Paul Nicholls.

Nine horses were withdrawn on Monday: Carlingford Lough, Third Intention, Roi Du Mee, Turban, Living Next Door, Spring Heeled, Katkeau, Golden Chieftain, Godsmejudge.

That leaves Alvarado (44), who has twice finished fourth in the race, outside the top 40 along with Becher Chase winner Highland Lodge (45), Cheltenham Festival victor Cause Of Causes (50) and Grand National Trial winner Bishops Road (42).

The exact order of elimination for horses currently 41 and below on the list of will be announced on Tuesday.

Knock House, a potential ride for leading female jockey Nina Carberry, is currently 41 on the same weight of 10st 3lb as Bishops Road.

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BBC Sport – Horse Racing