Trabolgan: off to Trevor Hemmings' in the Isle Of Man to join HedgehunterPICTURE: Mark Cranham
Chasing stars Trabolgan and L'Aventure retired
TRABOLGAN will join 2005 Grand National hero Hedgehunter in the paddock after connections decided to call time on the Hennessy Gold Cup winner's injury-ravaged career.
The trigger for the announcement came after Trabolgan was scratched from the John Smith's Grand National on Tuesday, on a day when another popular stayer L'Aventure, the 2005 Welsh National heroine who finished a gallant second in last Saturday's John Smith's Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter, was also retired - in her case to take up stud duties.
After consultation with Trabolgan's owner Trevor Hemmings, trainer Nicky Henderson, who nurtured the 12-year-old back from a catalogue of setbacks, said on Tuesday: "He was a great old friend, was asnice a horse as you could wish for and has been retired in one piece."
L'Aventure: will take up stud dutiesPICTURE: John Grossick
The first signs of Trabolgan's superstar potential came when he beat Comply Or Die in the 2005 Royal & SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham, and an awesome weight-carrying performance at Newbury in November later thatyear reinforced the belief that he could go right to the top.
However, it would later transpire Trabolgan had picked up a career-threatening tendon injury in that race and he would not been seen back in action for over three years.
After a breathing problem caused disruptions last season, Henderson had got Trabolgan back in good condition, and he look like winning a veterans' chase at Doncaster in February before unseating Barry Geraghty at the fourth-last fence.
Michael Meagher, racing manager to owner Trevor Hemmings, said: "We thought the sky was the limit after the Hennessy, but it was not to be. He's a beautiful horse and it was the obvious decision. We've done everything we could but he's not the horse he was. He'll go to Trevor Hemmings' in the Isle Of Man to join Hedgehunter."
L'Aventure, winner of the 2005 Welsh National when trained by Paul Nicholls, also won the Scottish Borders National at Kelso in the care of Nick Williams for owner Chris Harriman. She won nine of her 58 runs and earned over £331,789.
Trainer Nick Williams, quoted on Skysports.com, said: "She ran a brilliant race and it was absolutely fantastic to watch.
"It was a great effort from the front but that will be her last run and she's going to stud now.
"It would have been a fairytale to have ended up with a win but it wasn't to be and whatever happened, we'd already decided that was going to be her last race.
"At least she's going out on a bit of a high and she's been a great mare."