Grand National Champion Many Clouds Passes Away

The racing world was shocked last weekend when the 2015 Grand National winner, Many Clouds passed away. The sad loss of the popular Oliver Sherwood trained horse came moments after he had beaten the much fancied Thistlecrack in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.

The pinnacle of Many Clouds’ career came with his 2015 Grand National win. He was partnered with Leighton Aspell for his famous victory at Aintree that day, and it was Aspell who also guided him to a thrilling win over Thistlecrack on Saturday.

King George winner Thistlecrack had been the pre-race favourite but Many Clouds was able to take him on and ultimately outstayed the Colin Tizzard trained horse. Shortly after the race, Many Clouds started to display symptoms of being unwell and was immediately treated by the on-course vets but they could not to save him.

Health checks were conducted on all the horses prior to the race, as is standard, and Many Clouds was passed fit to race. Jockey Leighton Aspell stated that his ears were pricked, eyes bright and that if the horse had been dull eyed or lethargic they would have immediately called the vet for further checks before racing.

A post mortem has revealed that Many Clouds suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage, which can be sudden and show no sign of occurring beforehand. Tony Welsh, acting chief veterinary officer of the British Horseracing Authority, has confirmed that this type of health issue could not have been prevented and it was an underlying problem that would not have been detected.

Many Clouds had suffered with overheating problems in the past but the BHA have cleared those responsible for his health, citing an undetectable blood clot. In November of last year, the horses heart was checked and there were no suspicious results.

As the tragic news of Many Clouds loss was relayed to fans at Cheltenham and those watching at home it was a sombre Colin Tizzard who said: “We were just beaten by the better horse on the day, two fantastic horses ran right to the line.

“Poor old Many Clouds. My initial thought when we got beat was that I was disappointed but it's as sad as can be, he was a lovely horse and he beat us on the day.”

Unsurprisingly, owner Trevor Hemmings and his staff have been inundated with messages of sympathy after the death of his Grand National winning star Many Clouds.

A clearly saddened Mr Hemmings advised that the horse’s ashes will be coming home to the Isle of Man.

Hemmings said: “We called him the Manx horse. He was like a member of the family and my staff are all devastated.”

Groom CJ Jerdin, who looked after Many Clouds since his arrival in Oliver Sherwood's yard, was clearly devastated by the loss and speaking to James Burn at the Racing Post said:

“It took us five minutes to get him into Cheltenham because people wanted pictures as he came off the box. I've never had a horse with so much public affection like he had.

“He wanted for nothing and meant everything to me.

“He was the reason I enjoyed going to work, now it's going to be very difficult, but he won't be forgotten”