Last year’s Grand National winner Red Marauder will miss this year’s race due a leg problem

Red Marauder will not be defending the Aintree crown he won so gallantly in the mud last April.

The 2001 Martell Grand National winner will miss the rest of the season after damaging a foreleg in his first serious workout of the campaign. He was due to compete in a charity flat race at Hereford next month.

“He’s lived with aleg for the last four years and it’s never really been great this year. There is a tiny bit of heat there, not serious, but enough,” said owner-trainer Norman Mason’s assistant Richard Guest.

“It is disappointing, but at the same time we had half an idea that we were going to struggle with him. The main thing is that he is healthy and still in one piece. The vets do not envisage any long-term problems.”

The 12-year-old’s first challenge next season is expected to be the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury in November.

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