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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Record-breaking veteran Megalala could yet race on at age of 17

Megalala: the hugely popular veteran could yet race on at the grand age of 17
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Flat racing's ever popular pensioner Megalala could yet race on as a 17-year-old in 2018, his trainer John Bridger has revealed.

The veteran was thought to have retired at the end of the latest Flat season after finishing tailed off at Windsor in October but connections are to make a definite call when he returns from his annual winter break in a paddock at Bridger's stable in Hampshire.

Megalala's career has spanned 148 races, including one over hurdles, and 20 victories, his latest coming at Lingfield in 2016 and which made him the oldest racehorse on the Flat to win since the second world war.

At the other end of the timescale Megalala took 17 attempts before losing his maiden status as a five-year-old when winning a claimer at Brighton in 2006, since when he has been prolific at the seaside track, winning a further five races there.

He may yet get the chance to improve on that if he comes in looking his usual self at the end of next month.

Bridger said on Tuesday: "People keep telling us to retire Megalala but to us he still looks exactly the same as he's ever done and if he's showing the same sparkle in March he could well race on, but we''ll make that call at the time.

"He's been out in a paddock since November, during which time we bring him in at night, and no doubt he'll be leading the two-year-olds as he always does in the spring.

"At his age, you're waiting for them to steady up but he's remarkable and this will be his final chance to break his own record. Hopefully we'll get him in at the end of February as he needs soft ground if he's to run again so the sooner he's in the better."

Even if he were to win at 17, Megalala would still have to give best to Sonny Somers, who scored twice over fences as an 18-year-old in 1980.

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People keep telling us to retire Megalala but he still looks exactly the same as he's ever done to us
E.W. Terms
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