Dual Grade 1-winner Menorah bowed out in magnificent fashion last weekend after claiming his fourth-straight Grade 2 Oaksey Chase at Sandown Park’s curtain closer to the jumps season.
The decision to retire the 12-year-old was made shortly after the race by owners Graham and Diana Whateley who intend to send him to Richard Johnson’s farm in Herefordshire.
On the day, Menorah showed anything but his age when powering clear after the last to beat the Gary Moore-trained Traffic Fluide by just under five lengths.
He was making it an unprecedented fourth-straight win in the two mile and six furlong contest for his trainer Philip Hobbs.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him and to find horses like that is so difficult,” said Diana Whateley.
“He has been very very special to us. Menorah has been in training for eight years for us I think and to keep a horse fit and well on top of his game for eight years is quite a training feat for Philip Hobbs and all his team.
“Congratulations to Aidan Murphy who found him for us and let’s hope some of our youngsters in the team we are building at the moment can take his place in the future but he’s going to be a big place to fill.”
A son of King’s Theatre, Menorah’s finest performances came when winning two Grade 1s, one over hurdles and the other over fences.
To find horses like that is so difficult
The hurdle victory came in the 2010 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle when he ousted the JP McManus-owned Get Me Out Of Here by a head.
Just over two years later he took the scalp of Al Ferof by landing the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
His 15 wins under rules also included five Grade 2s, one Grade 3 in the shape of the Greatwood at Cheltenham’s November fixture and two Listed chases.
In all, the gelding accrued no less than £667,000 in prize money.