The owner of the horse, Tiger Roll that won the British Grand National for the second time
in a row this year has announced he will be withdrawing from the sport over the next five years in an
an announcement that has left racing fans shook bets.co.za learned today.
Michael O’Leary, the star breeder of Irish racing horses, has recently announced that he will be winding down
his business at Gigginstown Stud Racing over the next five years prior to leaving the sport permanently.
The trainer and breeder, most recently known for being the breeder that fathered Tiger Roll, who won the
British Grand National for the second time in consecutive years this year has said that his future lies outside the sport.
Over the last seventeen years, O’Leary has invested significant sums of money in his business and has produced some of
the sports greatest ever thoroughbreds. Since his first major win in 2002 with Tuco I, his maroon and white colours
have been seen often in the winner’s enclosure including some 100 plus times last season alone. In his native Ireland,
he has seen 159 winners out of 1000 horses bred. A feat never equalled in the sport so far.
O’Leary’s departure over the next five years will be felt widely as a slow and steady decline of his participation in the sport,
and every area of horse racing will feel that loss. Staff in his many stables are currently facing an uncertain future,
as it is not known whether there will be any replacement investors to keep the yards running, and bloodstock for
the Autumn will be the first to notice the difference of O’Leary’s decision. O’Leary is a significant character in the sport,
having first made his money as chief executive with RyanAir. He quickly began to invest in horse racing with the money he made
from that, bringing events such as the RyanAir Chase at Cheltenham in the Spring to the sport.
He explained that his decision is centered around wanting to spend more time with his family particularly as his sons
reach their teenage years “We wish to sincerely thank all our trainers and their teams for the enormous success we’ve enjoyed
over the past decade,” he told the UK Guardian, “but as my children are growing into teenagers I am spending more and more
of my time at their activities, and I have less and less time for National Hunt racing, a situation that will continue for the foreseeable future.
“I hope that by running down our string over an extended four or five-year period, it will give our trainers ample time to replace our
horses without disruption.”
His decision has yet to have had an impact on Tiger Roll and any possible attempts for him to become only the second horse in
history to win the British Grand National three times. What is known is that the sport of kings may never see the like of O’Leary again in
the future, and his departure from the sport is a significant loss.