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Grand National runner-up The Grand Samuri retired at 11 years old

The Last Samuri was making the running in the final stages of the 2016 Grand National but was overtaken in the closing furlongs by Rule The World and ultimately finished second, a position which he was unable to repeat in his subsequent two appearances in the famous steeplechase.

The 11-year-old took part in three Grand Nationals in total, finishing 16th in 2017 and being pulled-up the following year. He finished runner-up in the National for trainer Kim Bailey after spells with Sean Doyle and Donald McCain and he earned in excess of £400,000 in his career with eight wins from 27 starts, including Doncaster’s Grimthorpe Chase in 2016.

Harry Fry trained the runner since November and he explained the decision to retire him: “We had The Last Samuri for what was probably going to be his last season, but he ran very disappointingly at Newbury last Saturday, when he was never really travelling”, he said.

“I spoke to his owners Paul and Clare Rooney afterwards, and it didn’t take them long to decide to retire him.”

The trainer added: “He’s been a grand old servant down the years and I’d hoped we could find a race where he could bow out on a winning note after he ran well to be second at Taunton in January, but the old spark was missing at Newbury over the weekend. It wasn’t to be, and he can now enjoy a nice retirement.”

The Last Samuri had been 12/1 for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham Festival at odds of 12/1 and he was also entered for the 2019 Grand National.