Robert Alner: Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer dies aged 76
Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Robert Alner has died aged 76.
Alner triumphed with Cool Dawn from 1998 and trained other major steeplechasers – including Sir Rembrandt, The Listener and Kingscliff – in a career.
He had been injured in an auto crash at 2007, which left him in need of a wheelchair.
“He will be sorely missed,” said Andrew Thornton, who rode Cool Dawn to success 22 years ago.
Thornton stated Dorset-based Alner was given two years to live and also spent in intensive care.
But he proceeded to continue coaching under a permit with his wife Sally until 2010, when the pair announced their retirement.
“It’s really sad news. I was quite near Robert. They were just like a second family,” an emotional Thornton told Sky Sports Racing.
He won the Welsh National in 2007 as the trainer recovered in hospital.
“That victory was on a level with all the Gold Cup. It was a true tonic for Robert,” he said.
Following former James Banks was discovered dead at his Gloucestershire home obsolete 26, It’s been a gloomy 24 hours to the jump racing community.
Banks, who had retired from race riding almost exactly two years before, was a popular figure with colleagues.
“He was the soul and life of the weighing room, good to have around the place. It’s been a terrible 24 hours,” said Thornton.