Scottish Grand National winner Beshabar, who we were preparing for a tilt at the Cheltenham Foxhunters, has unfortunately met with a minor setback that will stop him running at the Festival in March.
Beshabar is now 12 years old and injury problems have prevented him running since his fifth in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury two years ago. In conjunction with his owners we have therefore made the decision to retire him with immediate effect.
In itself, his latest problem is not insurmountable, but he has been such a great servant and we feel the time is probably right to bring his racing career to a close.
|Beshabar produced a breathtaking round of jumping on his way to Scottish Grand National glory|
His win in the Scottish Grand National was a fantastic day for all concerned and saw Beshabar at his brilliant best, jumping his rivals into submission under Richard Johnson. He also went very close when runner-up in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival that same season, only giving best after the last.
Following his Hennessy run, he was installed as joint-favourite for the Grand National and my regret with him, one that I am sure is shared by many a National Hunt enthusiast, is that he was unable to line up in our greatest race, as I have never seen a horse more suited to an extreme test of stamina and jumping. Beshabar has been a favourite with us for several years, a real character to train and around the yard, to whom myself and all at Pant Wilkin owe plenty. We will shortly decide on how he will spend his retirement, which we will do very carefully as he thoroughly deserves a long and happy one.
Beshabar would no doubt be a star in anyone’s yard and therefore, I am exceptionally grateful to Harry and Mrs Findlay who put faith in me and sent him to our yard originally; Middleham Park Racing and later Diamond Racing who have had a more recent connection with him.