2013 Grand National Winner Auroras Encore has sadly been retired after suffering a leg fracture during last Saturday’s Skybet Chase at Doncaster.
The 12 year-old provided a major shock last April, blasting well established trends on jumping, form and official rating to win the National as a much overlooked 66/1 shot.
Trainer Sue Smith commented to the Yorkshire Post “They got him up successfully after the surgery and he was staying overnight in the operating box. Fingers crossed – it’s still early days.”
“He won a National for us. It doesn’t get bigger than that. He doesn’t owe us anything. This is a racing injury and I’m afraid that it is what you have to expect from the job on occasion.”
“We have to expect these things and that’s all there is to it. I just want him back to his retirement.”
Auroras Encore certainly earned his place in Grand National history and provided a badly needed feel good story for the race after welfare issues had dogged it in previous years, which makes the circumstances of his retirement somewhat ironic.
A solid 33/1 shot for the 2014 race, Auroras Encore’s withdrawal means it’ll be the first Grand National in 12 years not to feature a single previous winner of the great race, despite a five year high of 115 entries for the race on April 5th.