After an injury setback, Minella Times, the horse that Rachael Blackmore rode to become the first woman to ride the Grand National winner has been retired.
The 10-year-old, who is trained by Henry de Bromhead, was once again being prepped for the Aintree but the issue is significant enough for him to miss the date in April, and as a result his career is over.
Blackmore's iconic victory of Minella Times marked the end of a tremendous campaign for the tipperary native in 2020–21. That year, Minella Times won six races at the Cheltenham Festival, including the Champion Hurdle on Honeysuckle.
Together with winning the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and Cheltenham Gold Cup during the festival, trainer Henry De Bromhead had a stellar campaign.
— Aintree Racecourse (@AintreeRaces) February 21, 2023
De Bromhead told the Racing Post: "We were hoping to have another crack at the Grand National with Minella Times but unfortunately, he’s suffered a setback so he’s going to miss the race and we’ve decided to give him a well-earned retirement.
"The day he won the Grand National was magic. It’s up there with one of our best-ever days in racing and one we’ll never forget. He was absolutely brilliant on the day. He jumped fantastic and Rachael gave him an unbelievable ride."
Blackmore added to Betfair, "He might need an operation on it to make him comfortable in retirement. It's just disappointing.
"He gave us a great day. It's a real shame because Henry was very happy with him, and we were looking forward to getting him back for the cross-country and the National again.