'Heartbreaking': Cheltenham hero Croco Bay suffers fatal injury at Southwell
Last year’s popular Grand Annual winner Croco Bay sadly suffered a fatal injury when unseating his rider in the 2m handicap chase at Southwell.
The Lady Jane Grosvenor-owned 13-year-old was a stable stalwart for Ben Case and provided the Edgcote trainer and Kielan Woods with their first Cheltenham Festival success.
Croco Bay, who was looked after by Danny Hannig, rarely ran a bad race and was a multiple visitor to the spring festivals at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown and the summer Galway festival.
Case said: “It’s tough for us all. Croco Bay loved racing and has been a superstar for us. He didn’t deserve that but that happens sometimes and we have to live with it. He was a horse of a lifetime.
“He was very special to Lady Jane Grosvenor, who puts so much into racing and has been a big supporter of our yard.
“Croco Bay took us to all the big festivals and we’ll never forget his win at Cheltenham. It was a special day and a proud moment.
“He gave us everything so it’s a very sad day, but we have to remember the good times. He was a star all his life.”
Croco Bay was a seven-time winner from 45 starts, finishing in the first three in 20 of those runs.
Woods said: “I can’t really put into words what Croco Bay did for me. He was the best for me and loved his racing. He got keener every morning he went out for a canter. It’s so sad and he took us to all the festivals. It’s heartbreaking.
“He ran a fantastic race here the last day and social media went mad for him. He had such a following.”
There was another loss on the Southwell card as bumper debutant Lost On You, trained by Clare Hobson, suffered a fatal injury.
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