Greatest triumph ends in tragedy for Many Clouds

A PHILOSOPHICAL Oliver Sherwood has led the tributes to 2015 Grand National hero Many Clouds, who died from a suspected heart attack moments after producing a career-best performance to defeat King George hero Thistlecrack in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.

Trevor Hemmings with Many Clouds

The trainer’s pride and joy is the only horse to have won the Hennessy and Grand National in the same season and also broke the long hoodoo over Aintree heroes never winning another race.

Arguably, this was the horse’s greatest triumph, the warrior digging deep under Leighton Aspell to win a race that deserved to be remembered for the bravery of both horses before the tragic turn of events.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sherwood said: “We’ve got to look forward and not look back. 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. One thing I want now is for Thistlecrack to win the Gold Cup.”

Though Thistlecrack made a couple of jumping errors, and may not have been suited by the sticky going which exposed his stamina, there were no excuses as the novice chaser’s unbeaten record came to an end.

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.”