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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Gold Cup hero Don Cossack the big attraction at RoR National Championships

2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack at the Dublin Horse Show
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The 2016 Gold Cup hero Don Cossack is returning to Aintree – where he won the Grade 1 Melling Chase – as one of a record 318 ex-racehorses competing in the Retraining of Racecourses Goffs UK National Championships.

The event, which takes place from Tuesday until Sunday, showcases retired racehorses who have subsequently been trained in eventing classes, including showjumping, dressage and showing.

Click here to see the full list of ex-racers competing this week

Don Cossack, who was a six-time Grade 1 winner, will be joined by plenty of other popular horses, including the 2010 Stayers' Hurdle runner-up Time For Rupert and triple Topham Chase winner Always Waining.

Also among the horses on show will be Doncaster Cup winner Times Up, Franchoek, Noland, Ransom Note and Carlito Brigante.

Don Cossack winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup under Bryan Cooper

Between them, the 318 horses entered for the 90 classes at the championships ran more than 5,000 times during their racing careers, winning 599 races under rules. 

The dressage series championships start proceedings on Tuesday, running until Thursday. On Friday there is a performance day of jumping classes and arena eventing, while at the weekend it's the RoR National Showing Championships, culminating in an evening performance on Sunday and the crowning of the Goffs UK Supreme Champion, with its prize of £2,500 to the winner.  

All three previous Supreme Champions hold entries again, although the 2015 victor Jack The Giant is now competing in dressage and the 2016 winner Beware Chalk Pit is entered only for ‘in-hand’ showing classes. However, last year’s champion Wild West will attempt to defend his crown. 

Wild West and Lizzie Harris: ROA and Goffs UK Supreme Champion
Gold Cup and dual Champion Chase-winning jockey Nico de Boinville will be one of three judges tasked with awarding the title of Supreme Champion. 

The event is open to the public on all six days and admission is free.

RoR chief executive Di Arbuthnot said: "It's wonderful how this event continues to develop, attracting such quality, as well as quantity, in terms of the former racehorses entered.

"However, a horse’s rating on the racetrack counts for nothing in the dressage, showing or jumping arena, and that's one of the strengths of RoR’s competitions – it provides opportunities for all former racehorses to excel in a different discipline."

She added: "The whole event has a wonderful feelgood factor and it is vastly rewarding to see the pleasure working with former racehorses gives people.

"It doesn't matter whether they're competing in the elite finals or just a regular class, the smiles on their faces say it all."

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A horse’s rating on the racetrack counts for nothing in the dressage, showing or jumping arena and that is one of the strengths of RoR’s competitions

Key data

Don Cossack Aintree
E.W. Terms
Sky bet