Ramses De Teillee Retires

He has been a superstar for both me and is owners for the last eight years and I am not allowed to have favourites but he has to be up there with the best of them.  I bought him out of the ring at the Cheltenham sales in April 2016 after he had won an Irish point to point at Ballyarthur on his second start for Colin Bowe and sold him to John and Anne as they were looking for a grey to replace Dynaste who had carried their colours to great success previously.  It is fair to say he was a bit of a slow burner in the early days and didn’t win in his first season over hurdles but did run very well to finish sixth in the EBF final at Sandown, only beaten 10 lengths. 

After a summer holiday he returned to action in September 2017 and after three placed runs over hurdles we switched him to chases and he duly obliged over the larger obstacles at the first time of asking in a novice handicap chase at Chepstow, winning easily by 17 lengths.  He went on to win two further chases that season and was placed several times as well.

He had wind surgery in the summer of 2018 and reappeared with a respectable fifth place in the Badgers Ales Trophy at Wincanton before going on to win the Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow the following month.  He returned for the big one itself a few weeks later and ran a cracker to be a close second to Elegant Escape, only beaten 1¼ lengths.  In February 2019 he finished another close second, this time in the Grand National trial at Haydock, again going down on his sword and beaten by less than a length.  He ran in the Aintree Grand National that year and while he didn’t take to the fences as well as we hoped he didn’t have much luck in running.  His rein snapped jumping the canal turn – David Noonan and he did very well to jump every fence and effectively he did complete but he is officially down as pulling up as he had a little trouble steering around the elbow and they came to walk!

After his 2019 summer holiday we reverted to hurdling and he won on his comeback run, a novice hurdle at Cheltenham’s October meeting.  He was fourth in the marathon chase at Cheltenham in November and following further wind surgery he returned to action with a with a win in the Grade 2 River Don novices hurdle at Doncaster in January 2020.  He followed that with another win in a Grade 2 hurdle at Haydock in February.  He was below his best in that year’s Albert Bartlett novice’s hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but he didn’t run too badly when we took him to France where he finished fifth in the Grande Course de Hais d’Auteuil later that year. 

He won the staying handicap chase at the Cheltenham November meeting of that year, coming out on top after a terrific tussle with Yala Enki from a long way out.  He was highly tried thereafter and found things a little tough off ratings in the 150s for a while before another holiday and wind surgery saw him return to action with a bang to win the veterans chase qualifier at Warwick by nearly 10 lengths in November 2022.  We kept him fresh for the final at Sandown and he ran another super race to be second behind Wishing and Hoping. 

We then had the plan to get him qualified for this season’s final, which we did before he went on his holiday last year and following his final wind surgery he was always heading straight to Sandown this time around.  Unfortunately the weather got in the way of our best laid plans with the meeting abandoned but it was good they were able to reschedule it for Warwick a week later.  We didn’t mind the change and he ran another solid race for be fourth, simply not good enough on the day.  We were mulling over a similar plan for him going forwards this time but it was an easy decision to retire him after his performance yesterday.  He wants to do it for you but his Achilles heel has always been in wind and it is stopping him from performing to his best.

He is a horse you can set your watch by.  His enthusiasm and zest for life is infectious, he is a handful to ride at home and long serving members of my team, Debbie Leigh and Bob Hodge have been his main partners for his entire Pond House career.  He has also been looked after superbly by Emma Carrow since he arrived eight years ago and she knows him better than she knows herself!  He is an eight time winner from 40 career starts with eight second places and eleven third and fourth places to add to that as well.  Rated 153 at best he was a little under top class but he was very good and I would certainly like a few more like him!  He won over £237,000 in prize money and his attitude and will to win and try his best was second to none.  He rarely missed a day’s work and loved his daily routine.  He was a laid back character in the stable and I looked forward to feeding him every morning as there was never a nut left from the night before and he was always very pleased to see me!  I have a lot of wonderful cherished memories from his career and he will always hold a special place in my heart.  While his long term retirement plan is still to be decided he will have a home here for as long as he likes and he is not going anywhere for the immediate future.  He has a huge public following and will leave a big hole here at Pond House but I cannot thank him enough.  I came down to see him in his stable late last night and we shared a moment – two old grey boys together!  Thank you for everything Ramses.