Trainer Ben Case has paid a heartfelt tribute to his 13 year old Cheltenham festival winner Croco Bay after the veteran unfortunately suffered a fatal injury at Southwell on Monday.
Croco Bay was running in the Support The ARC Racing Club Handicap Chase when managing to unseat his rider Bryan Carver and unfortunately hurting himself in the process.
The Lady Jane Grosvenor owned veteran was normally campaigned during the summer towards the back end of his career but had featured in the major spring events from time to time.
His best memory to date came in the 2019 Cheltenham festival when being the outsider of the field at 66/1 and managing to land the Grand Annual Chase in the hands of the young Kielan Woods.
(Credit ATR) His handler Case said:“He didn’t deserve that, the old boy. He’d been in the form of his life, he showed that on his last run.
“He loved racing, he gave his all every time and we’ve had a huge amount of fun. It’s gutting really, but that’s racing – it doesn’t make it any easier though, it’s tough.
“He took us to a lot of places and gave us a lot of happy memories – he took us to places we never dreamt of going so we’ll remember that.
“Every year he was unconsidered in the Grand Annual, which happens when they are trained by a small yard, but he ran several good races in it.
“The day he won at Cheltenham we knew he was ready to run. You dream they can win at Cheltenham and he always ran his heart out.
“To do what he’s done for us was great, so it’s tough to take.”
He went on: “We’d planned to retire him at the end of last season, but the horse was so well and happy, he was always upbeat and you can’t just stop with them when they are like that.
“He was still acting like an eight-year-old, he was such a happy horse but these things happen, unfortunately.”