Gold Cup regular The Giant Bolster retired

The Giant Bolster: in the frame in three Cheltenham Gold Cups

PICTURE: Mark Cranham ( Gold Cup regular The Giant Bolster retired By Tony McFadden 11:10AM 3 NOV 2016

POPULAR veteran The Giant Bolster, a horse who competed at seven Cheltenham Festivals in a row and finished in the frame in three Gold Cups, has been retired.

Trained by David Bridgwater, The Giant Bolster attracted a cult following through his performances in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which included a second to Synchronised in 2012, a fourth behind Bobs Worth in 2013 and a close third to Lord Windermere in 2014, when he got to within three-quarters of a length of victory.

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"He was fantastic," Bridgwater said. "He ran at seven festivals and finished second, third and fourth in three Gold Cups – with luck on our side he could have won two of them.

"He also won on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham three times. He was a wonderful horse.

"He was an old character and could be lazy but had he tried 100 per cent every time he ran he never would have run at seven festivals. He saved a lot for himself – which is a credit to his ability."

'He's been a hero'

Regarding the decision to retire his flagship horse, Bridgwater said: "It's sad to see it come to an end but everything good has to come to an end at some point. He's been a blessed horse all his life and will have a happy retirement."

Leading the tributes on Thursday was his part-owner Simon Hunt, who owned the 11-year-old with Gary Lambton.

Hunt tweeted: "The Giant Bolster has been retired. He's fit and well but the time is right. He's been a hero for us taking us to places we could only dream of."

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