Albertas Run may be Retired

Jonjo OíNeillís 12-year-old chaser Albertas Run was pulled up by Tony McCoy at the Cheltenham Festival in the Ryanair Chase, a race that he had won in 2010 and 2011. The Champion jockey never looked happy on the horse as he niggled him along to keep in touch and he finally gave up the ghost before the eleventh fence. Although no definite decision has been made, first thoughts were that perhaps the time has come to retire the son of Accordion after a glittering career spanning eight seasons. Now the horse could be out of the Grand National Runners

Albertas Run has been a regular visitor to Aintree over the years, winning three times and finishing in the first four on all nine appearances. He has been withdrawn from the Aintree Grand National, a race in which he was due to carry top weight. He runs in the familiar colours of leading owner Trevor Hemmings, successful with Hedgehunter (2005) and Ballabriggs (2011). His first appearance at Liverpool was when winning a handicap hurdle in April 2007 and the following season he chased home Tidal Bay and Big Buckís in novice chases.

In 2010 he beat Forpadydeplasterer and Monetís Garden in the Grade 1 Melling Chase and his most recent course win was in the Old Roan Chase in 2011. Albertas Run has won fifteen races from 36 career starts. He was thought to be a possible Gold Cup horse earlier in his career and finished second to Kauto Star in the 2008 King George VI Chase at Kempton Park. Sent off at 14-1 for the Cheltenham feature, he weakened quickly after a mistake four from home and he was dropped back in distance. He made a brave attempt to win a third Ryanair Chase last season, only going down in a thrilling finish to Riverside Theatre by half a length.

Jonjo OíNeill sent a team of twelve to the Cheltenham festival and came away with one winner through Holywell (25-1) in the Pertemps Final. He also saddled Shutthefrontdoor (6-1) to finish fourth in the same race. Holywell was wearing blinkers for the first time after finishing second in his four previous races. One notable absentee at the meeting was 2012 Grand National runner-up Sunnyhillboy who was due to line up in the Gold Cup. A dirty scope prevented him from taking his place in the field, enabling Tony McCoy to take the ride on second favourite Sir Des Champs.

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