The Last Samuri Retired

Owners Paul and Clare Rooney have retired horse racing chasing star The Last Samuri. The 11-year-old was due to race in the Glenfarclas Chase at the next week's Cheltenham Festival before going on to the 2019 Grand National at Aintree on April 6th.

However, earlier today, Jason Maguire, racing manager to the owners, said: "Paul and Clare Rooney are delighted to retire The Last Samuri as a sound horse. He has given them some great days. Obviously, his second in the 2016 Grand National was a brilliant run -- and that day he gave it his all. It was going to be his last year. But he went to Harry (Fry) to see if a change of scenery could rekindle the old spark, and it looked for a moment as though it did at Taunton. They are very fair people and they didn't see no point in slogging the horse around for no reason, so they took the easy decision to retire him after Newbury."

Trainer Donald McCain initially trained the Last Samuri. But in 2015, connections opted to move him to Kim Bailey's yard. It was from there at the chaser went on to record his best performance in the Grand National when finishing in second place, in 2016, to the winner Rule the World.

That wasn't his last attempt at the Aintree spectacular and he returned in 2017, but was well beaten on the day, finishing in 16th position. Undeterred, The Last Samuri made his final appearance in the great race in 2018, but it was too much and he was ultimately pulled-up by jockey David Bass. That was also his last race under Kim Bailey.

More recently, following his transfer to trainer Harry Fry, he put in solid performances at both Ascot and Taunton but having been pulled-up at Newbury on March 2nd, the decision was taken to retire the great horse.

Throughout his career, The Last Samuri amassed earnings in excess of £400K and now looks forward to a happy retirement where Kim Bailey's daughter will care for him.

Bailey himself has said, "He was a horse I was really fond of. He was a complete trojan. He was small, compact, and an unbelievable athlete. He was a super jumper, gutsy, and just a little gem really."

The last Samuri is a terrific horse and has provided plenty of fond memories. He looks set to move on to do some Retaining Of Racehorses events and will no doubt make a few celebrity appearances at racecourses in the future.

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