Owner Michael O’Leary wants to retire Rule The World after the injury-plagued nine-year-old defied odds of 33-1 to win the Grand National on Saturday at Aintree.
Ryanair chief executive O’Leary fears that further outings could risk damaging a horse who has battled back from two pelvic fractures, but has vowed to leave the decision to trainer Mouse Morris.
“I would be conscious now having had a Grand National winner not to do anything that would endanger him or threaten him or run the risk of pelvic injury,” said O’Leary.
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“We’ll sit down and think about it over the summer. If I had my way I’d like to retire him, but I think in this case we’ll let Mouse decide what he wants to do and I know Mouse will make the right decision by the horse. If he wants to train him on next year, then we’ll train on. If not, we’ll retire him and look after him for the rest of his life.”
Rule The World had never won over fences in 13 starts before his National triumph, while 19-year-old jockey David Mullins – nephew of trainer Willie Mullins – was competing in the race for the first time.
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It was also a poignant victory for Morris, the Tipperary trainer who saddled Irish National winner Rogue Angel last month and was touched by tragedy last year when his son Christopher died in an accident.
“Watching the race, I thought we were going to be third and I was going to be very happy with that,” Morris said. “From where I was watching it, I didn’t really believe it until he passed the winning post.
“I’d say it’s very unlikely he’ll run again this year anyway. We’ll let the smoke clear and dust settle and we’ll see where we are after that. The horse won’t be abused, that is for sure.”