Tragedy strikes as National hope Cookie breaks leg

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Tragedy struck the Charlie Swan yard at exercise on Friday morning when the yard's standard bearer One Cool Cookie, an intended runner in next Saturday's John Smith's Grand National at Aintree, sustained a fatal injury and had to be humanely destroyed, writes Elliot Slater.


A 40/1 shot to land this year's Aintree marathon, the 10-year-old had been enjoying a routine exercise canter when he sustained a serious break to a fore leg and connections had no alternative but to euthanize him as quickly as possible. Swan was aboard the Gigginstown Stud-owned gelding when the accident occurred, the horse being particularly dear to the former Irish champion jockey having given him his first Grade 1 win as a trainer when beating Schindler's Hall to land the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse in April 2007. As Grand National time approaches there are usually a few sad stories and this was one of them.


A winner of 8 of his 42 races, One Cool Cookie proved himself a fair hurdler before really finding his niche when asked to jump a fence. He won a Grade 2 novice chase on Boxing Day 2006 at Limerick before going on to land his biggest ever win at Fairyhouse a few months later. He also won in Listed and in Grade 3 company later on in his career. His last victory came at Down Royal in March of last year when winning the Guinness Chase off a mark of 140.


Hopes were high that Swan's charge would perform well at Aintree next week, having finished an excellent third on his previous visit to the Merseyside track in November behind Hello Bud in the Becher Chase. He'd been out of luck in his two subsequent outings this term, unseating his rider in Punchestown's Cross Country Chase in February, then running out in the quirky Glenfarclas Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month.

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