Racing’s Golden Oldies
Last weekend saw 13-year-old Raz De Maree win the Welsh Grand National, becoming the oldest horse ever to win the race.
More age records were broken last Saturday at Chepstow, the jockey that saddled Raz De Maree, James Bowen, became the youngest ever jockey to win the race at 16, only 3 years older than his horse!
There have been many champions that have continued to be great into the latter stages of career as well as late bloomers who hit their best form when they were considered to be ‘old’.
Raz De Maree
This performance from Raz De Maree will possibly earn him a shot at the Aintree Grand National in April.
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) January 6, 2018
Perhaps the most famous National Hunt racehorse of all-time. Red Rum became a national treasure after winning his third Grand National in 1977 at the age of 12.
Red Rum had won the Grand National in 1974 and 1975 before coming second the two following years, which made his victory in 1977 all the more special. It was a night of big celebrations in the north-west with Red Rum himself involved in the after-race party in the Bold Hotel in Southport.
After his record-breaking Grand National success, Japanese businessman ‘Rocky’ Aoki tried to buy Red Rum for $1 million which was almost double Kenny Dalglish’s value as a footballer when he moved to Liverpool that year (£440,000).
Another astonishing fact about Red Rum is that he never fell in any of his 100 races, an incredible achievement considering he raced until he was 13 years old.
The greatest of his generation and rightfully earned the nickname ‘King Kauto’.
His exploits are well-documented but perhaps what is a little less appreciated is his longevity at the very top of the sport. At 11 years old, he won the Betfair Chase at Haydock and the King George at Kempton beating long-term rival Long Run in both races.
Kauto Star ended his career with over £2 million in total prize money, the first Jumps horse to hit the landmark.
When Kauto Star won the King George back in 2011.
What a horse 👏pic.twitter.com/50G7kDPMs8
— OLBG Betting Tips (@OLBG) December 26, 2017
Moscow Flyer became only the second horse to win the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival at the age of 11 or older.
Moscow Flyer won seven races in-a-row between April 2004 and April 2005 at the ages of 10 and 11, maintaining that incredibly high level of form right up to the end of his career- just goes to show how good he was!
Trainer Jessica Harrington’s favourite victory for Moscow Flyer was the 2004 Tingle Creek, when at 10 years old he beat top-quality, younger rivals Azertyuiop and Well Chief.
Farewell to Well Chief – who more than played his part in an epic running of the 2004 Tingle Creek Chase with Moscow Flyer and Azertyuiop. pic.twitter.com/jtOspxR0QE
— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) June 1, 2017
Only the eighth 12-year-old to win the Grand National in its 178 year history.
A spectacular comeback from a gallant old horse, Amberleigh House embodied the Grand National spirit of grit and determination above all else.
Even as they jumped the penultimate fence Amberleigh House and jockey Graham Lee remained a long way behind the leading trio but by the Elbow the rivals couldn’t deal with the finishing pace of the veteran 12 year old.
Perhaps in another generation Neptune Collonges would have won a lot more big races having competed with stablemates Denman and Kauto Star for the majority of his career.
The grey’s glory day came in his last ever race, the 2012 Grand National at 11-years-old. Arguably one of the best ever Grand National races of all-time, Sunnyhillboy seemed to be pulling away in the home straight but Neptune Collonges kept pushing right to the line and in a photofinish it was revealed that he just got there much to trainer Paul Nicholls’ delight.
Throwback to the 2012 Grand National
What a Finish! pic.twitter.com/MJryqMs3k3
— JPW Racing Tipster (@jpwracingtips) April 3, 2017
The only horse to have won the Grade 1 Ascot Chase at 12-years-old.
His most successful track was Aintree where he won five times, it was where he raced for the last time and won the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase. He won the Old Roan Chase three-times, including in 2007 where he beat the great Kauto Star.
— Ashley Iveson (@AshIveson) October 29, 2017