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LIL ROCKERFELLER: Former Cheltenham winner dies aged 10

Cheltenham victor Lil Rockerfeller sadly passed away earlier this week

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Britain Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse - 16/3/17 Lil Rockerfeller ridden by Trevor Whelan during the 3:30 Sun Bets Stayers? Hurdle Reuters / Stefan Wermuth Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Stayers’ Hurdle runner-up Lil Rockerfeller sadly passed away at the age of 10 on Tuesday afternoon after suffering a heart attack at Auteuil.

WATCH: LIL ROCKERFELLER WINS HIS SECOND START OVER FENCES AT CHELTENHAM [CREDIT: RACING TV]
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The tough and likeable son of Hard Spun was a versatile sort, winning over fences at Prestbury Park to add to his multiple Graded timber wins, and also had a Glorious Goodwood success on his curriculum vitae.

Tom George
Lil Rockerfeller spent most of his career with Neil King, before making appearances for Tom George (pictured) and Andrew Hollinshead across the English channel

His last appearance was in France when finishing second on his one and only run for Andrew Hollinshead.

In the aftermath, Hollinshead told the Racing Post: “It was terribly sad for everyone involved. I’d only had him for a month and only had him because Tom George’s temporary licence in France came to an end, but in that month we’d become attached to him.

WATCH: AN UNLIKELY WINNER AT GLORIOUS GOODWOOD, BUT LIL ROCKERFELLER BOLTS UP UNDER SILVESTRE DE SOUSA [CREDIT: RACING TV]

“I know how much he meant to Neil [King] and all I wanted to do was get through yesterday and hand him back to him, so it was gutting.

“It was horrible because he was a complete warrior of a horse. He had a heart attack pulling up, James [Reveley] gave him a super ride and looked after him all the way around and he was upset afterwards as well, having been in and schooled him in the mornings.

Ruby Walsh wins the Stayers’ Hurdle on Nichols Canyon ahead of Lil Rockerfeller ridden by Trevor Whelan

“He was lazy in the mornings and not particularly motivated at home, but yesterday in the paddock you could see him grow and prick his ears. He came alive for the job in hand and the owners tell me he always gave everything in a race.”

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