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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019

Many Clouds collapses and dies moments after beating Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack

Death of 2015 Grand National winner stuns racing community at Cheltenham.

Festival Trials Day - Cheltenham Racecourse Many Clouds, near side, died within moments of his win. Source: Julian Herbert

Updated 16.45

FESTIVAL TRIALS DAY at Cheltenham was overshadowed by the tragic death of Many Clouds, who collapsed and died moments after a stunning win in the Cotswolds Chase.

The 2015 Grand National winner, trained by Oliver Sherwood, finished strongly to shock Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack and win by a head on the line.

But the 10-year-old collapsed after passing the winning post and despite immediate treatment by the course veterinary staff, died suddenly.

“I always said he’d die for you and he did winning that race,” a distraught Sherwood told Racing UK.

“He is a horse of a lifetime.”

Colin Tizzard, Thistlecrack’s trainer, said: “We were beaten by a better horse on the day, two fantastic horses ran right to the line.”

“They had a battle and it’s just a tragic end to the race.

“This is what happens in our sport occasionally and you’ve got to face up to it.”

Earlier at Cheltenham, Willie Mullins’ Un De Sceaux (1/2 fav) was a five-length winner of the Clarence House Chase in the hands of Ruby Walsh.

On a day for the favourites, the JP McManus-owned Defi Du Seuil (1/5 fav) won the Triumph Hurdle trial, Wholestone (11/4 fav) won the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle trial while Unowhatimeanharry (10/11 fav) stayed on to beat Cole Harden by a length-and-three-quarters in the Cleeve Hurdle.

And in Doncaster, Vroum Vroum Mag (1/5 fav) was pushed all the way to the line with just a head to spare as she beat Midnight Jazz in the Mares’ Hurdle.

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Niall Kelly

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