At 12-years-old, a Grand National favourite, Across The Bay has been retired.
Trained by Donald McCain, Across The Bay didn't have the greatest of years in 2015 which started off when he could only manage 14th spot in a 16 runner race at Haydock in February. With luck not apparently on his side he was subsequently brought down at the Cheltenham Festival in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase and it didn't get any better when he headed to Aintree for the 2015 Grand National where he was pulled up by jockey Henry Brooke.
On the course where he ran a total of nine times during his career, he went back to Aintree for his last ever race in May 2015 but unseated Wilson Renwick.
With three Grand National attempts under his belt, Across The Bay first took to the famous fences in April 2013. He led all the way around until when three from home he just ran out of puff and slowly slipped back through the field to finish up in 14th place behind the eventual winner, Auroras Encore.
Back again in April 2014, Across The Bay was in prime position to once again challenge. Similar to the previous year, he led from the off and by the 16th fence was a clear 3L ahead of his nearest rival.
But loose horses hampered his run and carried him out of the field, pushing him off course, and from there, despite the best efforts of Henry Brooke, he could never get back into contention and again finished 14th.
It was undoubtedly his best chance to win a Grand National and though he tried once again in 2015, it wasn't to be and he was pulled up.
Across The Bay is owned by the Merseyside trio of Graham Worsley Kevin and Dr Anthony Coyne who make up The Scotch Piper Syndicate and he will remain with his trainer, Donald McCain, at his Bankhouse Stables in Cholmondeley, Cheshire.
He has run a total of 43 times under rules for his connections with earnings in excess of £142K.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, one of his owners, Anthony Coyne said: “We have decided to retire our old friend Across The Bay. He has just turned 12 now and he is going to stay at Donald’s.
“He will hack him round and maybe go point to pointing. Everybody is very happy because we have such a lot of fun with him.
“We are incredibly lucky when you think of what most owners get out of most racehorses, he has unbelievably good to us.
“The horse is happy, he is moving well and hopefully all will be well for the future.
“He ran 43 times and won on eight occasions so we had some fantastic days. But in terms of the occasion nothing will beat being involved in the National.”
On a personal note, I have been lucky enough to visit Across The Bay at Donald McCain's yard and he is a truly beautiful horse with a really lovely disposition so from us all here at the Grand National Guide, enjoy your retirement Across The Bay!