Grand National hero passes away

Lord Gyllene, winner of the rescheduled 'bomb scare' Grand National in 1997, has died at the age of 28.

Lord Gyllene has died at the age of 28

The New Zealand-bred gelding made history by winning the world's greatest steeplechase which was run on Monday, April 7 after it was called off on the previous Saturday due to bomb threats at Aintree.

Trained by Steve Brookshaw, Lord Gyllene put in a brilliant round of jumping as he led from the second fence in the hands of Tony Dobbin before going on to win by 25 lengths.

Lord Gyllene was retired in 2001 due to injury. He made just 13 starts in Britain, seven of which were at Uttoxeter, which was owned by the late Sir Stanley Clarke, in whose colours the horse ran.

His biggest success at the Staffordshire track came in the Singer & Friedlander Chase in February 1997 and he was second in the Midlands National there in the race before his Grand National triumph.

Simon Clarke, son of the owner, who died in 2004, broke the news to Press Association Sport.

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He said: "Lord Gyllene was fine yesterday, he was a little shaky this morning and just keeled over and died in his stable. He didn't suffer at all and lived to a grand old age.

"He had a long and happy retirement and had two mares for friends. He was chasing them around yesterday and perhaps overdid it.

"He was with my mother (Lady Hilda Clarke) in Barton until she died a year ago and then moved to my sister's in Cheshire."

Lord Gyllene will be forever linked to the Grand National and Clarke recalled that weekend of unprecedented events in April 1997.

"That Saturday was an extraordinary day and he went back there on the Monday and put in an amazing round of jumping. I think he was only headed once," he said.

"He didn't run many times. He got injured in training building up to a repeat National and then ran a couple of times after that and his injury was a problem and kept him at bay.

"He didn't have many races, but he had a great career. Once you've won the National you don't need to do anything else.

"The thing I like is with it being run on the Monday and being the 150th Grand National every time they review the race you always see him as part of it."

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