Whitbread winner Brown Windsor dies at 24.
NICKY HENDERSON paid a glowing tribute yesterday to Brown Windsor, the winner of the 1989 Whitbread Gold Cup and the following year's Cathcart Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, who died on Sunday at the age of 24, writes Rodney Masters.
He passed away peacefully in a paddock at the Leighton Buzzard home of his breeder Bill Shand Kydd, who shared ownership of the 12-time winner - who raced until the age of 14 - with Michael Buckley.
Henderson said: "He was very special to everyone at the stable, and he gave so much fun over the years to all those associated with him.
"He was a great character, and when returning from a work session he'd buck continually until back in his stable.
"I must confess, when he first arrived at the yard I thought he was rather moderate. When he won a bumper first time out at Towcester I was amazed, and then he followed up that same season with wins at Doncaster and Aintree!"
Apart from his big-race wins, he provided plenty of excitement for connections on major days, finishing a neck runner-up to Ghofar in the 1989 Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, and starting 7-1 favourite for that season's Grand National, in which, ridden by John White, he finished fourth to Mr Frisk.
As a prelude to retirement, Brown Windsor spent time with Caroline Bailey as a hunter chaser, and as a 12-year-old he won at Ludlow and Nottingham.
The following season he was beaten a length by Sheer Jest in the Aintree Fox Hunters', and he was retired after returning to Aintree for the same race 12 months later, when he was brought down at the ninth fence.
Shand Kydd said yesterday: "Brown Windsor gave us tremendous fun over so many years.
"I remember reading in Richard Dunwoody's autobiography that he thought he should have won the Hennessy on him, rather than finish second, but he'd had a row with his wife the previous night and wasn't at his best!"