TWE - View: Beat The Bank

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Every week here at the Winners Enclosure on the 'VIEW', we discuss commonly discussed topics, news and debates, presenting our opinions and opening the floor to yours.

This year we have seen some sad losses in the racing world particularly in the National Hunt sphere, starting with Joseph O'Brien's Sir Erec - holding up the Triumph Hurdle field when having to be reshoed, and all the cameras taking their chances to get up and close to the horse.

Sadly, it was the last time the four-year-old was pictured before sustaining an injury mid-race, which meant he had to be put down by Cheltenham vets.

Andrea & Graham Wylie have had a miserable year with their horses, with two fatalities at Cheltenham [Ballyward/Invitation Only] and the one death at the first fence in the Grand National at Aintree [Up For Review] - the first for some time.

Other stories have seen us lose Ben Pauling's Carlos Du Fruitier, who died in the night following an awkward-looking jump at Sandown, as well as Nicky Henderson's veteran Josses Hill's sad departure from the scene.

All these incidents have occurred over jumps, and it is rare to see these sort of events occur on the flat, but as we saw on Saturday, it can happen and in devastating circumstances.

Beat The Bank - a four-time Group Two winner before Saturday, was very much the founding pillar to the late Leicester City owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's King Power Racing operation.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Leicester owner

The Thai billionaire invested millions into racing over the last three years, when enhancing his yard with horses going to the likes of Richard Hannon and Andrew Balding, but sadly he died following a helicopter crash in October 2018.

Balding trained Beat The Bank - Vichai's favourite horse, who went back to Ascot off the back of his outstanding second in the Queen Anne at the royal meeting last month, and looking to follow up last year's success in the Summer Mile.

Very much the owner's flag bearer, he was headed inside the final furlong by Sir Michael Stoute's Zaaki, but the five-year-old showed all his guts to fight back and nose it on the line.

Similar to Many Clouds death at Cheltenham a couple of seasons ago, Beat The Bank's actions came at a price, as he tragically suffered a fatal injury to his lower near-hind limb.

The bet365 Mile winner back in April was attended to on track and seen walking into the horse ambulance which provided hope, but sadly he could not be saved.

King Power Racing's bloodstock agent and adviser Alastair Donald led the tributes.

(Credit: Racing Post) Donald said: "Beat The Bank was one of the first horses we purchased for the chairman and he was the horse who really got him into the game.

"He had a huge affinity for him – he loved bringing Beat The Bank Polos every time he was being saddled up and would have him cradled in his arms. I think this horse gave him a big passion for the game. 

"He was such a tough horse who always had that flat spot where he looked almost beat, but you would never panic as you knew he was going to come back. He was a warrior and he's gone out on his shield."

Beat The Bank won nine of his 18 races in the blue and white colours of the former Premier League Champions, adding a second Summer Mile even when sustaining the injury before the line.

He bowed out with five wins at Group Two level, more than £600,000 in prize-money to show off for his achievements, with a Grade One just evading his CV.

bangkok sandown classic trial silvestre de sousa king power andrew balding

Donald added: "He had a great following and it's a shame he never won his Group 1, but not many horses have won five Group 2s. He was a horse everyone loved. He was a special horse."

Trainer Andrew Balding was quick to follow up Donald's comments, and was left absolutely devastated by the loss of a horse who has been with him since February 2017.

He said: "He was a great horse to have in the yard, it was a privilege to have trained him and obviously everyone will feel his loss very badly. He was a special and magnificent racehorse.

"Josh Bryan, who rode him out every morning, Sandeep Gauravaram, who looked after Frankel and took care of Beat The Bank since the day he moved into the yard, and Kevin Hunt, who ran the barn he lived in, will all be feeling his loss as much as anyone."

Devastating news for the trainer, jockeys Silvestre De Sousa and Oisin Murphy - who both got on so well with the horse, along with the owners of the horse, and we send all our condolences on.

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