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Lie Forrit, a leading contender for Saturday's Coral Scottish Grand National, has been ruled out of the race by trainer Willie Amos.
The eight-year-old was a 12-1 shot with the sponsors for the four-mile race after a season which has seen him win one of his three novice starts.
However, Lie Forrit is reported to have fallen victim to a bug plaguing Amos' yard and the Borders handler is planning a three-week shutdown to give his horses time to recover.
He said: "Lie Forrit won't be running on Saturday as he's got a cough.
"It's nothing much, more a cold than the flu as you might say, but it's affecting the whole yard.
"We ran three last week and although there looked to be nothing wrong with them, they just didn't travel and have come back a few days later with a cough.
"The horse next to him has had it and Lie Forrit has now coughed too.
"It's devastating as I think it is a very open race and he would have had a good chance.
"He's hardly had his ground all season as it must have been one of the driest winters in England for years.
"I think that will be him for the year now. Once we've shut down for three weeks, the season is pretty much over so it will probably be it for most of the horses.
"It's just devastating."