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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Death of cross-country stalwartHeadlines
Heads Onthe Ground ridden by jockey Nina Carberry (centre) leads The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase

Heads Onthe Ground, winner of the cross-country chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2007, has died at the age of 16.

The JP McManus-owned gelding spent his last days at Enda Bolger's stables in County Limerick, where he also spent his racing career.

His finest hour came at Cheltenham, where he defeated Silver Birch, who went on to lift the Grand National a month later, and he was a regular in such races at Prestbury Park and Punchestown.

Heads Onthe Ground raced on until last April, with his final appearance coming in the Irish Field Chase at Punchestown.

"He got a touch of colic just before Christmas," said Frank Berry, racing manager to McManus.

"He was still at Enda's doing a bit. He was a great old schoolmaster for the new horses.

"He was a grand old horse and did well."

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