Oliver Sherwood was out of luck with his final runners as he said goodbye to the training ranks at Uttoxeter on Friday.
The 68-year-old announced last month that he was to relinquish his licence after a near 40-year career as a trainer, as recent health troubles, combined with dwindling numbers in his yard and the death of close friend Richard Aston, prompted Sherwood to reassess his priorities.
Neither of his final two runners could hit the frame at the Staffordshire track and Sherwood now bows out ahead of his new venture in the role as assistant to fellow Lambourn handler Harry Derham – with the majority of his remaining string making the short journey with him.
“I think most of them are going. There’s one or two I’m not quite sure about yet,” he told Sky Sports Racing after Mystic Man was pulled up in the Low Cost Roofing Stoke Novices’ Handicap Chase.
One of the highlights of Sherwood’s career was Many Clouds who the 2015 Grand National to cap a stellar 2014-15 season which also saw the popular stayer land the Hennessy and Cotswold Chase.
Many Clouds won 12 of his 27 races and Sherwood will always have the fondest memories of the battling son of Cloudings.
He added: “It was fantastic and I remember going up and seeing him as an unbroken three-year-old at Trevor’s stud with Mick Meagher near Haydock and I loved him then and he became a horse of a lifetime.
“To do what he did was just unbelievable. Although, mind you, if Trevor had not have said ‘lets have a crack at the National’ I was all set to put him away for the year. Owner intervention played a key part and I wasn’t going to run him – I thought it was a year too soon.
“If you had told me he would win a Hennessy, win a Cotswold Chase and finish sixth in a Gold Cup I would have bitten your arm off, but to then go and win a National was great. You are now always known as a Grand National-winning trainer.
“I’ve had a really lovely career, it’s been 39 years. I would like it to go on, but having been ill for 18 months with a touch of cancer, someone upstairs was saying take a pull. I’m not packing up, I’m just changing direction.”