Lee Westwood pays tribute to racehorse that reduced him to tears after 66-1 win as 'quirky' Yorkhill is retired

FAN favourite and two-time Cheltenham Festival winner Yorkhill has been retired.

Formerly of Willie Mullins, Yorkhill built a huge following with his big race wins and style of racing.

Owned recently by Lee Westwood, Yorkhill bounced back to win at huge odds of 66-1 last time out, which left the golfer in tears live on ITV.

But age and injury has finally caught up with the horse. A tendon injury is the latest in a long list of setbacks.

And despite ambitions of another Festival tilt this season, trainer Sandy Thomson and owners Westwood and Dave Armstrong have pulled stumps.

The 11-year-old won close to £350,000 from 11 wins during his career and was gifted to Westwood and Armstrong from previous owner Graham Wylie after he left the sport.

Clear highlights came at the 2016 and 2017 Festival when he triumphed in the Neptune and JLT.

Westwood told the Racing Post: "I think people were drawn to him by how good he was but also that he was quirky.

"What made Newcastle special was that it was proving to everyone that he'd still got it.

"People had written him off and were saying he wasn't capable anymore, but he came back and he won a big race beating some good horses.

"I was more pleased for the horse and everyone involved in getting him back as much as anything else.


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"He's going out on a high. It's a rollercoaster owning racehorses and I'm pleased he's going out the way he is.

"We'd have obviously liked to have kept on running him and given him more great days, but in the grand scheme of things it's not a bad way to finish."

Westwood and Armstrong still have high hopes for Bellshill – another former Mullins inmate – who could be aimed at the Grand National.


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