• Horse Racing

2011 Grand National hero Ballabriggs retired

ESPN staff
April 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Ballabriggs jumps the last on the way to 2011 Grand National victory © PA Photos
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Ballabriggs, winner of the 2011 Grand National, has been retired after trainer Donald McCain and owner Trevor Hemmings decided to call time on the 12-year-old's career.

The horse was pulled up in the latest renewal of the famous steeplechase at Aintree, prompting discussions between trainer and owner as to whether the bay gelding should continue.

Ballabriggs became McCain's first Grand National winner, and continued his family's success in the race after late father and four-time National winning trainer Ginger McCain enjoyed triple victory with legendary jumper Red Rum and then again with Amberleigh House.

"He's won me a Grand National and that is something I'll never forget," said McCain Jr.

"He's been a wonderful horse for the yard and it's nice for him to come through the other end in one piece so he can enjoy his retirement.

"If I don't win another Grand National, I've won one and that was down to him. That is what it's all about.

"As a young horse he came into the yard and we thought one day he might make an Aintree horse. The way he went about it and took to the place was very special.

"He and Cloudy Lane [retired earlier this month] will go back to Mr Hemmings' place on the Isle of Man. He's fine and he's been out in the paddock all day. We are just letting him down quietly before he goes home."

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