Grand National winner Many Clouds collapsed and died moments after passing the post in front of the exciting novice and Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.

The two horses battled hard up Cheltenham’s famous hill with the 2015 Aintree winner narrowly getting his nose in front under his regular jockey Leighton Aspell. It was the second win in the race for the 10-year-old gelding, who was also first past the post prior to his Grand National triumph.

Everyone held their breath when Many Clouds collapsed after the finish and the green screens were erected around him. Sadly it was then announced that the popular chaser, owned by Trevor Hemmings, had died despite receiving immediate veterinary attention.

Many Clouds trainer Oliver Sherwood said on ITV4: “I always said he’d run through a brick wall for you and he did winning that race. He is a horse of a lifetime.”

Tributes have flooded in for the popular chaser, who was well known for giving his all on the racetrack.

His work rider Nathan Horrocks said: “He was such a hard horse but that was his downfall as well, he never knew when to give up.”

Colin Tizzard, trainer of second placed Thistlecrack, said: “Two lovely horses ran themselves to the line. It’s as sad as can be. Many Clouds was a better horse on the day.”

Many Clouds won 12 races from 27 starts during his National Hunt career, including the Gold Cup trial in 2015 and the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2014, collecting winnings of more than £800,000.

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