Harrington pays tribute to retiring Magic Of Light

Last Updated 22 Jul 2021 | By Enda McElhinney | Commercial content | 18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply | Wagering

Trainer Jessica Harrington labelled Magic Of Light a ‘superstar mare’ after confirming the 2019 Grand National runner-up was being retired from racing.

Magic Of Light famously got closest to Tiger Roll at Aintree in 2019 when he won his second Grand National.

She would go on and win a Listed Newbury race over fences the following season and a Grade 2 hurdles contest at Ascot.

She trod a similar path in the season just elapsed, retaining the Newbury prize before chasing home the talented mare Roksana at Ascot.

After unseating in the Grand National back at Aintree, she had one more run at Punchestown but connections have now called time on her racing career.

Magic of Light Tiger Roll Grand National 2019

RACING-ENG-NATIONAL: Jockey Davy Russell on Tiger Roll (R) leads Magic Of Light ridden by jockey Paddy Kennedy (C) as he crosses the line after winning the Grand National Handicap Chase horse race on the final day of the Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, north west England on April 6, 2019. Tiger Roll put his name alongside legend Red Rum on Saturday winning back to back Grand Nationals in stunning style. The 4-1 favourite, superbly ridden by Davy Russell, took up the running at the last fence and although 66-1 outsider Magic of Light came back at him the nine-year-old had enough to spare to emulate Red Rum’s feat in 1973-74. Oli SCARFF / AFP – Oli Scarff/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

Stellar career after signing for Potts’ team

Magic Of Light represented the late Ann and Alan Potts, having originally recorded a bumper victory in the colours of winning rider Kate Harrington at Navan in November 2016.

Magic Of Light won nine races in a 36-race career that began under rules with Harrington in the autumn of 2016.

Her biggest payday came at the 2018 Punchestown Festival when she won a Mares’ Handicap Chase over 2m5f in the hands of regular rider Robbie Power.

She would win the same Newbury Listed Chase over just shy of three-miles on a hat-trick of occasions from 2018-2020.

Many had her down as a major threat to Tiger Roll heading into the 2020 Grand National at Aintree, before the race was lost to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She only got as far as the fourth fence in April before unseating Power, as the stage was instead cleared for Rachael Blackmore and Minella Times to create history in the 2021 Grand National.

In foal to Crystal Ocean

Harrington paid tribute to the career of Magic Of Light as she revealed the 10-year-old has been covered by Group 1 winner Crystal Ocean.

“She’s been a superstar mare for us and it’s great to hear that she’s in foal,” said the trainer, confirming the popular performer’s retirement.
“She’s been covered by Crystal Ocean, who I think will be a good mating for her.”

The Flemensfirth mare enjoyed her share of success but that 2019 silver medal at Aintree was arguably the standout performance of her career.

She was a 66/1 outsider under Paddy Kennedy and looked to have given her all when she blundered at the final fence, allowing Tiger Roll and Davy Russell to assume control. Magic Of Light looked well held running to the elbow, before staging a late rally to be beaten less than three-lengths at the line.

‘You could depend on her’

Winning the same Newbury race three years on the trot ensured Magic Of Light was a performer Harrington could rely on. She collected more than ?400,000 in prize-money in her racing career and so very nearly gave the much-vaunted Irish trainer the dream first runner in the Aintree showpiece.

“It was my first runner in the National when she ran a brilliant race behind Tiger Roll,” said Harrington.

“Every year you could depend on her to do the same thing at Newbury and Ascot. I used to say that she could nearly pack her own suitcase and head off to England!”

Enda McElhinney

Enda McElhinney is a racing writer with a growing portfolio of work on both British and Irish racing, with a particular fondness for National Hunt racing. While he acknowledges there have been many great runners; there has only ever been one Denman.

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