MANY CLOUDS won the 2015 Crabbie’s Grand National in great style, putting up the best weight-carrying performance since Red Rum defied 12st in 1974. He carried 11st 9lb to victory under his regular rider Leighton Aspell, who also celebrated Grand National success the previous year on Pineau De Re.
He was a first Grand National victor for trainer Oliver Sherwood, who rode in the race (1983) as did his wife Tarnya (1989), while owner Trevor Hemmings enjoyed a record-equalling third win following on from Ballabriggs (2011) and Hedgehunter (2005)
Aged eight at the time of his greatest victory, Many Clouds had already proved himself a classy chaser by winning the 2014 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and the 2015 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.
Many Clouds, who revelled in the adulation that is accorded a Grand National winner, continued to race and won his third contest since with perhaps his greatest performance when very gamely overcoming Thistlecrack, previously unbeaten over fences and hot favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, in the 2017 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase on January 28, 2017.
Tragically, Many Clouds died shortly after passing the winning post, despite being attended by vets. Sherwood commented: “The only thing you can say is that Many Clouds died doing what he loved – he loved jumping and he loved racing.
“It is very sad for everyone – CJ (Chris Jerdin) who looked after him at home, Lisa my travelling head girl, Stefan, my head man, Trevor and all the team at Rhonehurst. It is going to very tough GONE BUT NOT having an empty box there. “
Thanks for the memories, Many Clouds.