Betbright Trial Chase
Grade 2, Cheltenham 14:15
£100,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 1f 56y, Class 1  
Saturday 28th January 2017

1 Many Clouds 8/1
2 Thistlecrack 4/9F
3 Smad Place 7/1
7 ran Distances: hd, 17l, 27l
TIME 6m 41.20s (slow by 26.20s)

Many Clouds tragically collapses and dies after winning the Cotswold Chase

Many Clouds
© Racehorse Photos
Many Clouds

Many Clouds fell to the ground in the shadow of the winning post after producing one of the best performances of his career to upset the brilliant King George winner Thistlecrack.

One of the most popular National Hunt horses in training, Many Clouds won the Hennessey in 2014 and added the Grand National the following spring.

Sent off an 8/1 shot to beat the mighty Thistlecrack on Saturday, he produced a characteristically brave performance, jumping well and battling back on the run-in to win by a head after a thrilling finish under regular rider Leighton Aspell.

But Many Clouds then collapsed after crossing the line and, although medics were quick to attend to him, they were unable to save the Oliver Sherwood-trained jumper.

It was a second victory in the race for Many Clouds, who won 11 of his 26 starts under rules.

Sherwood said: "We've got to look forward and not look back. He's been the horse of a lifetime.

"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.

"It's sad for [owner] Trevor [Hemmings] and my team at Rhonehurst, I've been in the game 32 years and horses like that don't come along very often.

"You've got to enjoy it and it happens to us all, we all go one day. We've got to be philosophical and celebrate the Hennessy and National wins and that was almost a career-best performance.

"The public get to know the horses, especially horses that try for you. They appreciated what he had done and he captured your imagination, really.

"When Lisa [Kozak, travelling head girl] rang me to say he'd gone down, I was worried. Time will tell if it was a heart attack."

Thistlecrack
© Racehorse Photos
Thistlecrack

Thistlecrack, who was previously unbeaten over fences and went off the 4/9 favourite, made the odd mistake but still looked set to win when edging clear on the run-in, only to be out-battled close home.

His trainer Colin Tizzard said: "We were just beaten by the better horse on the day, two fantastic horses ran right to the line.

"Poor old Many Clouds. My initial thought when we got beat was that I was disappointed but it's as sad as can be, he was a lovely horse and he beat us on the day.

"We ran our race, we're not making any excuses - today, on winter ground, we were beaten by a better horse, no question.

"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."

British Horseracing Authority media manager Robin Mounsey said: "First and foremost our thoughts are with all connections of Many Clouds following this very sad news and, in particular, for those who loved and cared for him throughout his great career.

"The care available for racehorses throughout their lives, and in particular on the racecourse, is first class.

"All horses are observed by a vet before taking part in a race. After the race, Many Clouds was immediately tended to by Cheltenham's team of expert racecourse vets within seconds of the first sign that he was in any difficulty.

"Despite this treatment, sadly, the horse could not be saved.

"We cannot yet be certain of the cause of the incident, but steps will be taken to understand exactly what has happened. Incidents such as this are exceptionally rare."

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Betbright Trial Chase
£100,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 1f 56y, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Many Clouds (IRE) 8/1 L P Aspell
11-10
O Sherwood 10
2nd hd Thistlecrack 4/9f T Scudamore
11-10
C L Tizzard 9
3rd 17 Smad Place (FR) 7/1 Wayne Hutchinson
11-10
A King 10
4th 27 Silviniaco Conti (FR) 20/1 N D Fehily
11-10
P F Nicholls 11
5th Kylemore Lough 8/1 J E Moore
11-6
Kerry Lee 8
PU Vezelay (FR) 66/1 Felix de Giles
11-10
E Clayeux 8
PU Perfect Candidate (IRE) 50/1 P J Brennan
11-4
F O'Brien 10

BETBRIGHT CUP CHASE - Past Results
Year Horse Owner Trainer Weight Jockey SP
1980 Raffi Nelson Mrs P Fry Nicky Henderson 7-11-06 Steve Smith Eccles 5/2
1981 Little Owl R Wilson Peter Easterby 7-11-12 Mr Jim Wilson 8/11f
1982 Lesley Ann B Gaule David Elsworth 8-11-12 Colin Brown 5/2
1983 Combs Ditch Jim Tory David Elsworth 7-11-08 Colin Brown 6/1
1984 Everett Kilian Hennessy Fulke Walwyn 9-11-08 Stuart Shilston 15/8f
1985 West Tip Peter Luff Michael Oliver 8-11-06 Richard Dunwoody 5/2
1986 Misty Spirit Mrs E Dixon Donald Lee 7-11-06 Steve Smith Eccles 9/1
1987 Abandoned
1988* Twin Oaks John Moreton David Murray-Smith 8-11-06 Paul Croucher 6/1
1989 Deep Moment Mrs M Curtis Mercy Rimell 7-11-03 Dermot Browne 12/1
1990 Toby Tobias Elizabeth Hitchins Jenny Pitman 8-11-06 Mark Pitman 5/4
1991 Celtic Shot D E H Horton Charlie Brooks 9-11-12 Peter Scudamore 8/11f
1992 Abandoned
1993 Sibton Abbey Geoff Hubbard Ferdy Murphy 8-11-12 Steve Smith Eccles 16/1
1994 Dubacilla Veronica Cole Henry Cole 8-10-12 Dean Gallagher 8/1
1995 Master Oats Paul Matthews Kim Bailey 9-11-06 Norman Williamson 6/4f
1996 Abandoned
1997 One Man John Hales Gordon Richards 9-11-12 Richard Dunwoody 2/5f
1998 See More Business John Keighley/Paul Barber Paul Nicholls 8-11-06 Timmy Murphy 9/4f
1999 Cyfor Malta David Johnson Martin Pipe 6-11-06 A P McCoy 10/11f
2000 Looks Like Trouble Tim Collins Noel Chance 8-11-06 Norman Williamson 100/30
2001 See More Business Paul Barber/Robert Ogden Paul Nicholls 11-11-10 Mick Fitzgerald 9/4
2002 Rince Ri Frank Moriarty Ted Walsh IRE 9-11-10 Ruby Walsh 9/2
2003 Behrajan The Behrajan Partnership Henry Daly 8-11-06 Richard Johnson 9/2
2004 Jair Du Cochet Miriam Montauban Guillaume Macaire FR 7-11-10 Jacques Ricou 11/4
2005 Grey Abbey The Roper Family/Norman Furness Howard Johnson 11-11-10 Graham Lee 100/30
2006** See You Sometime J Meaden Seamus Mullins 11-11-05 Andrew Thornton 18/1
2007 Exotic Dancer Sir Robert Ogden Jonjo O’Neill 7-11-06 A P McCoy 6/1
2008 Knowhere Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies 10-11-04 Paddy Brennan 16/1
2009 Joe Lively Richard Dimond Colin Tizzard 10-11-06 Joe Tizzard 11/1
2010 Taranis Angela Yeoman Paul Nicholls 9-11-00 Nick Scholfield 16/1
2011 Neptune Collonges John Hales Paul Nicholls 10-11-00 A P McCoy 11/2
2012 Midnight Chase Lady Clarke Neil Mulholland 10-11-06 Dougie Costello 11/2
2013 Cape Tribulation David Abell Malcolm Jefferson 9-11-06 Denis O’Regan 7/1
2014 The Giant Bolster Simon Hunt & Gary Lambton David Bridgwater 9-11-00 Tom Scudamore 6/1
2015 Many Clouds Trevor Hemmings Oliver Sherwood 8-11-10 Leighton Aspell 4/1
2016 Smad Place Trish Andrews Alan King 9-11-06 Richard Johnson 9/2

* Cavvies Clown was first past the post in 1988, but subsequently failed a dope test ** Staged at Wincanton