Saturday 30th May, 2020
To continue ‘My Racing Life’ – the fifth horse on the list is Noble Lord. ‘Nobby’ was purchased by Geoff Lansbury and Jeff McCarthy having won his first three hurdle races for over hurdles for Bob Buckler, including one race at Exeter when he hung due to his dislike of going righthanded.
We purchased him privately on the advice of Brendan Powell in the summer of 1997, winning for us at Stratford in May 1998. Although not the biggest, it was over fences that he excelled and he won a decent novice chase for us at Aintree that November, which was televised on the BBC. Now settling better, we stepped him up in trip and he was wonderfully consistent and was runner up in the Scottish Grand National in 2000 with Jimmy McCarthy onboard.
In 2001 he was my one and only runner in the Aintree Grand National. Like many I have had an ambition to win the race since I was a child. It was the year of very wet conditions and he had jumped brilliantly under Jimmy McCarthy until with 13 runners left going towards the 13th, he knuckled on landing for the first and only time. Who knows what would have happened had he not.
In the autumn of 2001, he unfortunately suffered a pelvic injury and retired a year later, having given all connections some great thrills. He spent a long and happy retirement at Bob and Pauline Scott’s stud in Essex, until his passing last year in his mid-twenties.
He was a very tough, hardy character who apparently fractured a rider’s arm in his early years. Ultimately he put that gift to great use in his racing career and will always be remembered by all who knew him with great affection.