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National still the plan Forpady'

FORPADYDEPLASTERER remains in contention for the John Smith's Grand National, despite his poor show at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The Tom Cooper-trained 11-year-old finished last of five runners in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase, having previously ended a long losing streak at Thurles in November. Cooper was deflated by the manner of that reverse at Leopardstown, but his focus remains fixed upon the National at Aintree in April.

"He's 100 per cent after Leopardstown, but I was disappointed with him," said the Co Kerry handler.

"At least he stayed on to the line after making a bad mistake at the second-last - that was pleasing," Cooper added.

"Without a doubt we'll still be looking to Liverpool.

"He's a very good jumper - he's never fell in his life - so that's a big reason why I think he'll go well in the National.

"He's not easy to place these days, so he'll probably have a couple of runs over hurdles beforehand."