Here on our website we have a poll for our visitors so that they can vote on who they think will win the 2012 Grand National and up to a a couple of weeks ago, Niche Market had the highest number with 11% of the votes.
Unfortunately, it was then announced that Niche Market was injured and would be withdrawn from the National and then that was quickly followed up by the fact that the plan was to now retire him. The 2009 Irish Grand National winner, trained by Paul Nicholls picked up an injury, and owner Graham Regan used Nicholls’ Betfair column to confirm his retirement.
“I am sad to report that we have retired Niche Market,” wrote Regan.
“For a one-horse owner, The Niche has been a dream even since we got him as a six-year-old. He won the Irish Grand National in 2009, a BGC Silver Cup at Ascot in 2008 as well as finishing second in an Aon Chase and third in a Hennessy Gold Cup, fifth in last year’s Grand National and a whole host of other good runs.
“It all looked so promising when he finished second to Marufo at Newbury last weekend.
“Timeform made that run the equal of anything he had achieved before, and we would have gone to the National 6lb well in. We were very much looking forward to Aintree before the news came from Paul that he had injured a tendon.
“I have had better weeks, but, that said, I am certain that Paul has had better fortnights.
“The Niche has given us some brilliant days out and we feel it is our turn to look after him now.
“This is why we have reached the decision to retire him. We have found him a very good home, I have gifted The Niche to Harry Skelton, who was on board for his Fairyhouse win in 2009, and we know he will have a long and happy retirement at Nick Skelton’s stables in Stratford.
“This is simply another illustration of the ups and downs of the sport we all love.”