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Grand National winner Lord Gyllene dies

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

The New Zealand 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.

He won two jumps races in New Zealand before being bought and sent to England where he was trained by Steve Brookshaw.

He led the Grand National from the second fence in the hands of Tony Dobbin before going on to win by 25 lengths.

Lord Gyllene was retired in 2001 because of injury. He had 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.

Simon Clarke, son of the owner, who died in 2004, said the horse his death was unexpected.

“Lord Gyllene was fine yesterday,” Clarke said.

“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 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.”

Dobbin looked back on Lord Gyllene with great fondness and will never forget the exhilarating ride the horse gave him to win the National.

“It’s very sad,” he sad.

“He used to parade at the Grand National and the last time I saw him he looked great. He had a good life and a lovely retirement. He was a very-laid back animal.”

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