We celebrate the late, great Aintree hero Many Clouds after his sad death at Cheltenham on Saturday (28 January 2017). Watch him in action in the 2015 Grand National — and find out what the 17.1hh gentle giant was like at home
- In 2015, aged eight, ‘Clouds’ was the youngest winner of the Grand National since Bindaree in 2002. He was carrying the most weight since Red Rum and won the race in the second-fastest time.
- Clouds helped his jockey Leighton Aspell to back-to-back Grand National wins and the whole race was filmed on a JockeyCam (see video above) worn by the Irish jockey.
- Leighton became the first jockey to secure consecutive wins since Brian Fletcher in 1973/74 on Red Rum and the first since Bryan Marshall in 1953/54 to do it two years running on different horses. The pair reached the front three out after The Druids Nephew fell, and battled to the line with the Tim Vaughn-trained Saint Are.
- “He was the envy of the changing room,” said Leighton in a tribute to the horse in today’s edition of The Times (30 January 2017). “Everyone wanted to have a spin on Many Clouds. He was a jockey’s dream. He had physical strength, mental strength and outstanding ability. That is a very rare thing in a racehorse.”
- Clouds had a huge following and a fan club who regularly sent him letters, carrots, apples and plenty of polos.
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- He was a shy horse and would rather stand at the back of his stable than lap up attention — open days at his trainer Oliver Sherwood’s yard were not his favourite.
- Clouds was known as a gentle giant standing at an almighty 17.1hh.
- He won on his racecourse debut on 21 February 2012 — an open National Hunt Flat race at Wetherby.
- He was purchased by Trevor Hemmings as a three-year-old for just €6,000 (£4,700).
- At home Clouds was fondly named ‘the Black Aeroplane’— a name also used by racing fans for Sprinter Sacre.
- In 2015, Clouds topped the H&H poll with the most votes to win our ‘Equine Personality of the Year’.