No final roll for the little drum

nacaratThe Irish Examiner signalled it on Saturday; Tom George confirmed it on Sunday. Nacarat, who carried SOTD hopes in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton on Saturday, has run his last race.

Serious blunders at fences seven and fourteen ended any hopes of a third success in the race and of a return for us. George had said before the race, “His two races this season haven’t really been his thing and this race is the one we’ve really been aiming for since the start of the season. It might well be his last race. We won’t shut the door completely but he can’t keep going forever and owes nobody anything, so there is every chance it will be his last run. We know he loves Kempton and the ground should be fine.”

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There was relief in the camp that the jumping errors didn’t cause any damage, and that the 12 year old grey horse can start his winding down period to retirement free from injury.

Nacarat, the “little drum” had come over from France five years ago, and during his time racing in England picked up almost £500,000 in prize money. George brought about significant improvement in his performance, and as well as the wins in the Racing Post/Plus Chase, he took a Grade 1 Totesport Bowl at Aintree in April 2011.

He said, “When Nacarat won first time out for us at Wincanton in the winter of 2008 he was rated 118, but Tony Dobbin got off him and said he was on a par with Monet’s Garden, who was rated 166. It was an accurate prediction because Nacarat got to 162. This is the right time to retire him. We didn’t want him doing the rounds with a slipping rating. "Winning a Grade One was obviously his highlight. Everyone's got to know him and seen a lot of him. He's always been there and put in a good show for himself."

Paddy Brennan rode Nacarat in all but one of his races over the past two years, and had clearly come to develop a good understanding with the horse. Paying tribute, Brennan said, “He was always a great horse to ride and he gave me some very good days, including the Grade 1 win at Aintree and a Racing Post Chase win. He was a brilliant jumper and it was so out of character when he made that mistake on Saturday. That completely messed up his race, but that’s history now.”

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