Cheltenham veteran The Giant Bolster is having a “well deserved retirement” after a 40-race career with trainer David Bridgwater.

The Cheltenham favourite was placed second, fourth and third in Gold Cups in consecutive runs between 2012 and 2014.

 In the 2012 Gold Cup he was a 50/1 runner-up to Synchronised; the following year he was fourth to Bobs Worth and in 2014  third to Lord Windermere.

“He’s been a wonderful horse,” said David.

The Giant Bolster arrived at his training yard at Wyck Hill Farm in the Cotswolds as an unraced three-year-old on the ferry from a stud in Germany.

In his eight-year racing career he won just under £373,000 for owners Simon Hunt and Gary Lambton.

His last victory was the Grade Two Argento Chase in January 2014.

Mr Bridgwater said the horse “has always been sound and has been a fantastic horse for a small yard.”

The 11-year-old will be turned out with the Bridgwater’s other six retired horses, before beginning a new career competing in RoR showing classes with David Bridgwater’s wife Lucy (pictured with The Giant Bolster).

 “He’s 100% sound and not be retired because of injury, but because he deserves to be,” said Mr Bridgwater.

 Owner Simon Hunt told the Press Association: “Having bought him as a youngster and knowing him and his quirks so well, he would always tell us when his racing days were over and while he is fit and well, he can now go on and comfortably do another job and have some more fun.”

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Simon gave his childhood friend Gary Lambton a share in The Giant Bolster as a 50th birthday present in 2014.

The following day the horse won the Argento Chase in front of his many Cheltenham followers, coming home in front of the favourite Rocky Creek by seven lengths.