I can live with it if the Captain has to be demobbed

Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd says he’s willing to accept that one of the star names in his stable may not be able to race again.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 1:50 pm
Stuart Coltherd with Captain Redbeard and, inset, Sam Coltherd (library image)

Captain Redbeard, a regular winner for the Clarilawmuir team and a competitor in the last two Grand Nationals, pulled up recently in a race at Newcastle with a tendon injury and will be out for at least a year.

Everyone concerned knows it’s a long time to wait to see how the 11-year-old chestnut gelding may respond to treatment and the recovery process for what is a common injury.

However, Stuart, whose son Sam has regularly ridden the well-known horse, says he’s well aware the verdict may put an end to the Captain’s racing days.

“He’s been the flag bearer for us twice at the Grand National and we have had some good runs with him and good days with him,” said Stuart. “So, if he has got to retire and doesn’t race again, it would not bother me.”

Captain Redbeard was a casualty at the seventh fence in the 2018 Grand National but, 12 months later, he ran an excellent race and enjoyed the prestige of completing the course, finishing 16th.

Stuart, Sam and some of the other horses in the Clarilawmuir camp have also had a busy time on either side of Christmas.

A win at Musselburgh was followed by further race action at Carlisle, while the Coltherd crew took part in three race meetings on Boxing Day.

At Sedgefield, they had two fifth-place finishes – jockey Danny McMenamin on board Felix Mendelssohn in the Stablemate by AGMA Novices Hurdles Handicap (class four), and Graystown, ridden by Thomas Wilmott, in the Gary Wood Memorial Handicap Chase.

At Market Rasen, Sam Coltherd finished sixth aboard Achill Road Boy in the Clugston Lincolnshire National Handicap Chase.