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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 February, 2003, 17:45 GMT
Bannow Bay dies
Bannow Bay, one of the top staying hurdlers in recent years, has been put down.

The Christy Roche-trained eight-year-old became ill while recovering from a routine operation and was destroyed on Saturday.

"He went for an operation last week for a chip [on his near-fore knee], but came back and wasn't well and had to be put down," a spokesperson for Roche's stable said.

Bannow Bay's record
Nineteen runs over hurdles
Nine victories
Won more than 160,000 prize money

Bannow Bay will be best remembered for his battle with Baracouda in last year's Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

He was edged out by a neck but was a leading fancy for this year's renewal until ruled out of the race through injury.

Regular jockey Charlie Swan said Bannow Bay was one of the best stayers he had ridden.

"It's terrible news. He was a great horse," said Swan.

"We were unlucky not to win the Stayers' last year and he would have had a big chance this time.

"He was a tough horse and it's very sad. He was a kind old horse to ride."



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