Stregone strong in betting

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Lo Stregone's odds as Grand National favourite are now as low as 6-1 after the announcement that Rough Quest will miss the race and the news that Jodami and Royal Athlete are also doubtful.

"Jodami's absence is not definite, but the National is only a week on Saturday and we're just running out of time,'' Peter Beaumont, Jodami's trainer, said. He added that his 11-year-old is more likely to run in the Irish National on 8 April, when Rough Quest is a possible rival.

Mark Pitman added last year's winner, Royal Athlete, to the doubtful list, saying: "We've been held up with him and it's odds against him running."

Young Hustler is now the likely Aintree top weight on 11st 7lb, leaving Lo Stregone just 2lb out of the handicap proper.