Niche Market to miss Grand National through leg injury

Niche Market, who finished fifth in

the 2011 Grand National,

is to miss this year’s race with a leg injury.

Trainer Paul Nicholls, who has never won the National, said the horse would not line up for the contest on Saturday, 14 April.

The 11-year-old was rated around a 20-1 chance for the big race at Aintree.

Owner Graham Regan told BBC Sport Niche Market had a small tendon tear and was unsure if he would race again, adding: “I’m gutted, but nobody has died.”

The horse was second in a veterans’ chase at Newbury on Saturday and runner-up in the Becher Chase over the National fences at Aintree in December.

Niche Market, who was pulled up in the 2010 Grand National after being struck into by another horse, had been allocated a weight of 10st 5lb for this year’s race, 8lb less than when he finished fifth.

“We thought we had a cracking chance in the National,” said Regan.

“The horse has given our family so much enjoyment, it is up to us to look after him now.

“Any decision on his racing career will be on hold until we know he’s okay.”

Nicholls has Neptune Collonges left as his sole representative in next month’s Aintree marathon.

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