Harrington saddened at death of 'brilliant' Ronnie Wood-owned Sandymount Duke
Trainer Jessica Harrington has paid tribute to Sandymount Duke after the admirable ten-year-old, owned and bred by Ronnie Wood of Rolling Stones fame, died after suffering a heart attack.
The versatile ten-time winner, who missed last season's Randox Health Grand National due to a minor setback at the eleventh hour, had been in training at Harrington's Commonstown base.
"He was a brilliant horse, it's not easy to come across one like him," said the Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer.
"He was cantering up the gallop and went by me with his ears pricked just beforehand. He had never shown any signs of anything like what happened before."
A relentless galloper who finished fifth in the 2017 Galway Plate off a joint career-high mark of 156, the son of Hernando had recorded wins over fences and hurdles, as well as a bumper and Flat maiden victory.
Harrington added: "Ronnie bred him as well as owning him, he's devastated. He was such a lovely horse."
Sandymount Duke in numbers
10 career wins
4 chase wins
4 hurdles wins
1 bumper win
1 Flat maiden win
€144,388 in prize-money
156 highest chase rating
The all conquering dual-purpose trainer provided a positive update on National Hunt stars Sizing John and Supasundae, though, with the pair on course to race later this month.
Harrington said: "Both seem well and will go to Punchestown on Sunday for a gallop. The plan is for Supasundae to head to Leopardstown at Christmas [entered in 2m Leopardstown December Hurdle].
"Sizing John's starting point will be a two-and-a-half mile conditions hurdle at Punchestown on New Year's Eve and we'll take it from there with him."
Read The Lowdown from 8.30am daily on racingpost.com and the Racing Post app for all the day's going updates, news and tips