Blackmore leads tributes as Grand National hero Minella Times retired

Trained by Henry De Bromhead, Minella Times won the 2021 edition of the famous Aintree steeplechase when partnered by Blackmore, who became the first female rider to win the race, capping a stellar season in which she was also top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival.

The 10-year-old was being aimed at this year’s renewal, but has suffered a setback that would have curtailed his season and, as such, connections have opted to call time on his career.

“’It’s a day I will never forget,” Blackmore told Betfair. “He is such a special horse to a lot of people, now he will get to enjoy a wonderful well deserved retirement in Martinstown.

“Henry and all the team in Knockeen did such an incredible job with me and I will always be so grateful for that.’’

Minella Times has completed on just one of his six starts since winning the National and was brought down when looking to defend his crown last April.

The JP McManus-owned horse finished third in a subsequent Grade 3 at Cork the same month, but has been pulled up on each of his two starts this season and De Bromhead announced his retirement on Tuesday morning, ahead of the unveiling of the weights for this year’s National.

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