Owner JP McManus has spoken of his “devastation” at the loss of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised in Saturday’s Grand National.
In a statement delivered in conjunction with trainer Jonjo O’Neill, AP McCoy and his racing manager Frank Berry, McManus absolved Aintree racecourse of any blame and believes what happened was the result of a freak accident.
He also feels the race should not be devalued in any way.
McManus said: “Jonjo, AP, Frank and I, and all our families, feel a deep sadness and sense of devastation about the loss of the horse and we will always cherish the memory of how great he was in winning the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival last month.
“What happened to him appears to be nothing more than a freak accident as his fall did not cause him to lose his life; it was running around loose afterwards. It remains difficult to understand how it happened but regrettably it did.
“Emotions ran high on Saturday for everyone involved and I would personally like to thank Julian Thick and his team at Aintree Racecourse for all their help, kindness and consideration.
“We remain huge supporters of the Grand National despite the sadness – it is a truly fantastic spectacle that is viewed by millions on TV around the world. It should not be devalued in any way.
“Two years ago we all felt the elation and sheer joy of standing in the winner’s enclosure with Don’t Push It.
“Luckily he is still with us and relishing his retirement, so we all know what a special feeling it is to win what is the world’s greatest steeplechase.
“Racing is full of ups and downs because it is a very competitive sport, but in any sport things happen over which nobody has any real control. Sometimes it can be for the good and sometimes, such as Saturday, it can be for the bad.
“Losing any horse is very sad but one as brave as Synchronised is a very big loss for all involved.
“He has been laid to rest at Jackdaws Castle, a place where he was much loved by all and where he thrived from the first day he went into training.
“He has left us all with a memory of what a superb equine athlete he was and his name is etched deep in the annals of jumping history as the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
“We are all very proud of what he achieved for us and the sport as a whole.”