Tony McCoy admits the death of Synchronised in last week’s John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree has been hard to take for everyone connected with the horse.
Jonjo O’Neill’s nine-year-old was given a magnificent ride by the 16-time champion jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month and he was aiming to become the first winner of the blue riband to claim National glory in the same season since Golden Miller in 1934.
But after falling at Becher’s Brook, the sixth fence in the world’s most famous steeplechase, Synchronised proceeded to jump more obstacles riderless before suffering a broken leg.
“It is no understatement to say that he was one of our favourite horses, and that’s not just because he won a Gold Cup,” McCoy said in his Telegraph column.
“It has hit the whole team – from JP McManus (owner) and his family, who bred him, to Jonjo O’Neill and the team at Jackdaw’s (Castle, O’Neill’s yard) as well as me – very hard.
“The loss of any horse is painful, but it makes it all the more painful because he was such a great horse.
“Ironically, I had much heavier falls than he seemed to have and the last I saw of Synchronised was the horse getting up and galloping off into the distance, looking absolutely fine.
“What happened then is still unclear to all of us, but losing any horse remains the toughest, saddest part of the job of being a jockey.”