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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Trainer John Bridger calls time on Megalala career at age of 17

Megalala: will remain with John Bridger to enjoy his retirement
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Megalala, whose longevity, sheer will to win and exuberant front-running tactics made him a hero at places like Brighton, Lingfield and Kempton for more than a decade, has finally been retired at the age of 17.

Winner of 20 races from 148 starts during a remarkable career which began in April 2005 in a Fontwell bumper, the son of Petardia became in June 2016 the oldest horse to win on the Flat in Britain since 1945 when scoring at Lingfield.

That proved to be his final win, and his last race came at Windsor last October. Trainer John Bridger had been planning to continue with him this year, but is happy to have made the decision to retire him in one piece.

“He’s retired now,” Bridger said. “There’s nothing wrong with him, but if I ran him and something went wrong people would never forgive me.

“He is 17 and there comes a time when you’ve just got to stop. We’ve now reached that time with Megalala.”

The trainer added: “He’s out in the field with four or five others and he looks great. You could run him tomorrow, you really could.

“He’s been a wonderful horse, and will stay here with me. He’s part of the furniture. He’s been brilliant to me.

“If they were all like him this game would be easy. All you had to do was feed him, keep him fit and he’d do the rest.

Trainer John Bridger with the much-loved Megalala, whose "longevity alone is worthy of recognition"
“Most racehorses have got a gimmick of some sort, but all Megalala wanted to do was gallop. He’s always been a happy horse. He never got sick of being in training like many do.”

Megalala’s first victory came at Brighton, a track which proved his happiest hunting ground, in a 7f claimer in September 2006.

He ended his career having won eight times at the seaside venue, on the majority of those occasions dictating matters from the front and refusing to be passed.

Megalala proved successful at most trips from 7f to 1m4f, and his place in racing folklore is assured.

Wins 20

Second and thirds 32

Career starts 148

Total prize-money £73,648

Most successful course Brighton (eight wins)

Most wins in a calendar year Five in 2011

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He is 17 and there comes a time when you’ve just got to stop. We’ve now reached that time with Megalala
E.W. Terms
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