The Last Samuri has left Kim Bailey’s stable to be trained by Harry Fry in what is expected to be his final season.
Bailey paid tribute to Paul and Clare Rooney’s popular and classy staying chaser, who was second in the Grand National in 2016.
“It is always sad to lose a horse to another trainer, and especially one as popular and as much loved as TLS (The Last Samuri),” the Gloucestershire trainer told www.kimbaileyracing.com.
“Yes TLS will be hugely missed as he has been part of the furniture here for the last three years and wow what great days we have had on the racecourse with him too.
“‘Sam started life with us by winning at Kempton in December 2015 which made him eligible for that seasons Crabbie’s Grand National, and having waited on the weights announcement he then went on to win the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster in fine style. This set him up for the Grand National supposedly 12lb well in.
“How can I forget nearly winning that Grand National with him? it was heart-wrenching for all concerned, and we walked away saying, ‘If only it had not rained’.
“Sam loves those Aintree fences and he has showed that with two fabulous runs in the Becher Chase under top weight. He is tough, honest and a fabulously versatile jumper which he showed again when finishing third in this year’s Glenfarclas cross-country at Cheltenham.
“Sadly the razzmatazz of this years Grand National and the heat became too much for him.
“Yes he has been a pleasure to train and I wish his new trainer Harry Fry all the best, and I am sure he like us all here, will fall madly in love with this pocket rocket.
“Paul and Clare Rooney, who own TLS, feel that as this is probably his last season in training a new trainer should have a chance with him.”