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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Never say never! Bridger leaves door open for return of Megalala at 17

Megalala in the yard with trainer John Bridger
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We may not have seen the last of Megalala on the racecourse, with trainer John Bridger set to make a decision on the 17-year-old's future in the next fortnight.

Megalala, who became the oldest horse to win on the Flat since the second world war when striking at Lingfield as a 15-year-old in 2016, endured a disappointing end to last season.

However, Bridger, while suggesting retirement was the most likely outcome, left the door open to a possible return after the veteran came back from his winter break "looking like a million dollars".

Bridger, who purchased the horse in 2004 and has trained him ever since, said: "We've got him in the yard and one of the girls is going to ride him at a local show. She's going to hack him about for the weekend, and if everything's all right we'll start galloping him – I'll know [about his future] in a fortnight.

"He looks a million dollars at the moment, like he normally is."

Watch Megalala win as a 15-year-old

Bridger, himself a veteran at 76, added: "Some people want to retire at 55, but then you get some lunatics like me who want to keep going. It's the way he is. He likes to gallop."

Whether he races on or not Megalala's future will be with Bridger, who revealed he had found a home for the horse but when it didn't work out was happy to have him back.

Has Megalala run his last race?

"I did find him a home, but the lady couldn't manage him," the trainer said. "She was an event rider, but he's just too old to change his ways.

"He's going to stay here whatever happens now. I let the lady have him but it didn't work – he can be a bit of a cheeky character when he wants to be."


Age: 17
Races: 148
Wins: 20
Last win: Lingfield, June 18, 2016
Highest rating: 83 (as an 11-year-old)

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It's the way he is. He likes to gallop
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