Grand National winner Rough Quest dies aged 30

Rough Quest

Rough Quest and Mick Fitzgerald winning the 1996 Grand National

  PICTURE: Sporting Life  

 By David Baxter 12:06PM 20 OCT 2016 

ROUGH QUEST, who gave Terry Casey, Mick Fitzgerald and owner Andrew Wates victory in the 1996 Grand National, has died at the age of 30.

Connections did have to survive a stewards’ inquiry that day, as Rough Quest crossed in front of runner-up Encore En Peu on the run-in, but the 7-1 favourite kept the race, having finished runner-up in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham 16 days beforehand.

Victory also provided Fitzgerald’s memorable “I think sex is an anti-climax after that!” quote to Des Lynam when interviewed post-race.

Rough Quest returned for another crack at the Grand National in 1998, but was pulled up, and was retired a year later, his last start in a Hunter Chase at Aintree, where he was a faller.

He enjoyed a lengthy retirement at Casey’s former yard in Surrey, where David Arbuthnot now trains and a statement released on Thursday said: “Having had a very healthy and happy retirement at Henfold, he recently developed an infection which he was not recovering from and in the best interests of the horse we did not want him to suffer.

“It is a testament to his constitution that before this problem he had hardly ever needed to see a vet during his retirement.”

Wates and Fitzgerald were regular visitors for Rough Quest, and Fitzgerald, remembering his Grand National victory in a Channel 4 interview in 2013 said: “It was great for the connections – Andrew Wates had invested a lot of money in the sport. Terry Casey was a small trainer and it was lovely for them, and for me to be a part of it is something that can’t be taken away.”

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