Many Clouds after his Hennessy Gold Cup triumph at Newbury
GRAND National-wiing Many Clouds collapsed and died after winning one of the race of the horse’s life when handing unbeaten Thistlecrack a first-ever defeat when claiming the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.
Oliver Sherwood’s Hennessy Gold Cup and stable star looked in great shape as he came through under regular rider Leighton Aspell, but just after reaching the winning post, the 10-year old collapsed and died from a suspected heart attack.
It sent the stunned crowd into silence and left the Lambourn trainer emotional: “He's been the horse of a lifetime and I always said he would die for you and he's died for me and the team today doing what he does best.
“He wanted to win that race, he was beaten and then fought back in the last 50 yards to win.
“I've been in the game 32 years and horses like that don't come along very often.”
Many Clouds was winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup trial for a second time, beating the horse rated as favourite for the festival showpiece.
“We've got to be philosophical and celebrate the Hennessy and National wins, and that was almost a career-best performance.”
His gallops rider at Lambourn, Nathan Horrocks, said: “It's a shock. From shouting him home to 10 minutes later he's not even with us.
“He's a massive loss for everybody, he's of huge importance to the yard but also to Lambourn and the sport.”