Two of Ireland's best loved National Hunt stars, Limestone Lad and Solerina, are both enjoying their retirement at trainer Michael Bowe's County Tipperary base.
Limestone Lad, now at the ripe old age of 21, won an astonishing 35 races in a six-year career between 1997 and 2003, with his incredibly tough front-running style endearing him to the National Hunt faithful.
He had no little ability to go with his tremendous will to win, landing numerous Grade One prizes, including the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse in 1999, 2001 and 2002, as well as being placed in two renewals of the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Bowe, whose late father James officially trained Limestone Lad, points to his 1999 Hatton's Grace victory over the legendary Istabraq as possibly the greatest day of them all.
"Limestone was a one-off. He still is. We were very lucky to have him and we'll probably never have another like him. He's probably in as good a health now as he ever has been. He's enjoying a well-earned retirement and sometimes you'd love to go and throw a saddle on his back," said Bowe.
"We had a lot of big days with him, but I suppose beating Istabraq in the Hatton's Grace is a day that sticks out. At the time I probably didn't appreciate him as much as I do now. He was a handful to deal with, but an incredible horse."
Just as Limestone Lad's career was coming to a close, along came the wonderful mare Solerina. Another horse who went out in front and wore her heart on her sleeve, she also won the Hatton's Grace Hurdle three times, between 2003 and 2005.
Now a 16-year-old, Solerina has given birth to a number of foals and Bowe is hoping at least one of them can take him back into the big time.
"Unfortunately Limestone is a gelding, so I can't breed off him, but Solerina is in foal now to Doyen and that foal is due in April. We also have a lovely four-year-old filly by Milan. I don't like talking up horses but I do think she could be quite nice. She'll tell us when she's ready to run," said the trainer.
"We also have a three-year-old filly by High Chaparral, and a yearling, so hopefully they'll turn out to be good, but they have a lot to live up to. If they're half as good as Solerina, that will do me."
25 April 2017Ormonde Stakes target for one-time Derby favourite Midterm
Cilaos Emery foils Melon as Labaik digs his heels in at Punchestown
Royal runner Call To Mind not out of running for Derby place
John Gosden mapping out path to Classic riches with powerful three-year-old team
Nicky Henderson gives Altior entry in Celebration Chase at Sandown
John Gosden gives Cracksman Epsom sighter in Derby Trial
Roger Charlton keen to recruit James Doyle for 1000 Guineas hope Fair Eva
Nichols Canyon and Lil Rockerfeller clash in Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown
Sizing John back on Gold trail at Punchestown for Jessica Harrington
Cheltenham Festival winners wage war at Punchestown
Jamie Codd angling for more Bumper glory with Punchestown-bound Fayonagh
John Oxx remembers a 'very decent fellow' following death of Johnny Roe
Washington DC back to winning ways at Navan
Disko in tune for Punchestown assignment
Hugo Palmer - Galileo Gold and Frankie raring to go in Lockinge
Hugo Palmer yet to decide on Newmarket Guineas bid for Escobar
Sizing John and Coneygree on collision course in Punchestown Gold Cup
Title rivals Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson target Sandown gold
Gordon Elliott hopes Labaik is 'on another going day' at Punchestown Festival
Un De Sceaux and Fox Norton clash in Champion Chase at Punchestown
Cheltenham Festival hero Penhill primed for Punchestown prize
24 April 2017Fozzy Stack to pitch Diamond Fields into Athasi Stakes at Naas
John Gosden takes aim at Epsom Derby Trial with Cracksman
Charlie Hills has Ascot in mind for Mootaharer
Muntazah earmarked by Owen Burrows for Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown
Mighty Missile hits the target in new military race at Wincanton
Torcedor foils Order Of St George in Vintage Crop Stakes
Vociferous Marina makes all the noise in Salsabil Stakes triumph
Too Familiar impresses for Johnny Murtagh on debut at Navan
Khukri continues hot streak for trainer-of-the-moment Jessica Harrington
Newmarket experience will stand Eminent in good stead - Martyn Meade
Nicky Henderson wary of late title charge by Paul Nicholls
Un De Sceaux the headline act on day one of Punchestown
Magical Memory gearing up for Duke Of York comeback
23 April 2017Injury forces dual Classic heroine La Cressonniere into retirement
Crimean Tatar team consider Yorkshire Cup mission
Nico de Boinville released from hospital after Scottish National fall
Michael Halford and Shane Foley on the double at Limerick
Colin Keane lands another treble at Limerick
'Great thrill' for William Haggas as exciting Call To Mind wins for the Queen
Vicente boosts title hopes for Paul Nicholls with Scottish National repeat
Impressive Barney Roy foils Dream Castle in Greenham Stakes
Straightforward success for Dabyah in Fred Darling at Newbury
Seamie Heffernan happy with Order Of St George for Vintage Crop test at Navan
Ruby Walsh feels Willie Mullins requires a miracle to win trainers' title
22 April 2017Nico de Boinville taken to hospital for assessment on neck injury
Muntahaa digs deep for John Porter success at Newbury
Annie Power in foal to Derby hero Camelot
Bacchus back with a bang at Newbury
Shutter Speed and Gracious Diana boost Oaks hand for John Gosden
Ayr double helps Paul Nicholls continue strong finish to jumps season
John Gosden takes aim at Newbury prize with classy Dabyah
Order Of St George flies the Ballydoyle flag in Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan
Midterm gets back to work in John Porter Stakes at Newbury
Dream Castle follows Frankel route in Greenham Stakes at Newbury
Premier Bond given licence to thrill in Scottish Grand National at Ayr