Paul and Clare Rooney, whose silks have been associated with a number of high-class National Hunt horses including The Last Samuri and If The Cap Fits, are set to disperse their band of jumpers and turn their attention solely to the Flat.
The news was first reported to The Guardian on Tuesday and their Racing Manager, Jason Maguire, told the publication: “They’re just concentrating on Flat racing. They’ve decided they’re going to sell the jumpers.
“They just said to me they want to put their energy into Flat racing. They’re giving the trainers some time to get them sold so the trainers can keep the horses.”
The Last Samuri won eight races for the Rooneys and finished runner-up to Rule The World in the 2016 Grand National, while If The Cap Fits captured last year’s Grade 1 Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle at Aintree. The ill-fated Willoughby Court was an impressive winner of the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2017.
The decision comes a year after the couple announced that they were reducing their string to focus on quality over quantity and a year after they had told their trainers that they did not want their horses running at Cheltenham due to concerns about them sustaining injuries. That decision was later reversed in February 2019.