Cheltenham Festival winner Darna retired from racing

Darna - David Bass wins from Rawnaq - Andrew Lynch

Darna scores at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival under rider David Bass

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

DARNA, winner of the Plate Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year, has been retired with trainer Kim Bailey citing the ten-year-old’s lofty handicap rating as partly behind the decision.

Owned by Julie and David Martin, Darna’s finest moment came when he battled to a 33-1 victory in the Grade 3 Brown Advisory Merriebelle Stable Plate under jockey David Bass.

Since that success Darna has failed to finish in three races, the last of which came when he fell when attempting to retain his title at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

‘Spoilt rotten’

Writing in his blog, Bailey said: “Darna has left the yard fully fit and healthy, but off his current handicap mark he was going to struggle until he returned to a more realistic mark and that is not what either I or his owners wanted to see; running around to gain a respectable mark to win one race and then shoot back up the handicap again.

“He owes us nothing and has given us all the racing moment of a lifetime. Darna deserves a happy and healthy retirement, and he will be spoilt rotten. He made our dreams come true.”

In total Darna won seven of his 19 starts and was placed in a further two races. He won £86,270 in win and place prize-money.


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