Former star two-mile chaser Well Chief dies of colic at the age of 18
Well Chief has died at the age of 18 after suffering from colic at his former rider Timmy Murphy's farm in Gloucestershire.
Well Chief carried the famous blue and emerald silks of the late David Johnson throughout his career in Britain, during which time he became one of the most popular chasers in training, earning recognition for his clashes with Moscow Flyer and Azertyuiop.
While the German-bred son of Night Shift often came off second- or third-best he contributed to some of the most iconic battles of the mid-2000s, as well as winning an Arkle, beating Kicking King, winning a Celebration Chase, when thrashing Azertyuiop, and landing a Victor Chandler Chase under top weight.
Well Chief also overcame two separate layoffs – each of nearly two years – for leg issues, returning in 2009 to finish second to Master Minded in the Queen Mother Champion Chase on his first start for 698 days.
Pipe added: "He was a real character and just a very good horse. He was fragile and he wasn’t bought to be as good as he was but he could jump and had a big heart. He had the engine and ability to win a Queen Mother Champion Chase but when he was at his peak it was a very competitive era. There would have been plenty of Champion Chases he may well have won, but that's life."