Andrew Thornton leads Robert Alner tributes after Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer dies aged 76
- Jockey Thornton rode Alner’s 1998 Gold Cup winner Cool Dawn
- He also partnered the Dorset-based trainer’s Sir Rembrandt in the Gold Cup
- Alner also trained steeplechasers Sir Rembrandt, The Listener and Kingscliff
Former jockey Andrew Thornton has led the tributes to Robert Alner, the Cheltenham Gold Cup winning trainer who has died aged 76.
Thornton rode Alner’s 1998 Gold Cup winner Cool Dawn, as well as partnering the Dorset-based trainer’s Sir Rembrandt, who was second in the 2004 Gold Cup and third the following year.
Alner also trained 2005 Betfair Chase winner Kingscliff, 1997 Whitbread Gold Cup hero Harwell Lad and Grade One winning chaser The Listener.
Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Robert Alner (centre) has died aged 76
He won the 2007 Welsh National with Miko De Beauchene but shortly afterwards was seriously injured in a car crash, an accident which left him paralysed and in need of a wheelchair.
Thornton said: ‘He’d been going to Odstock Hospital every two months on and off for the last 12 years. The nurses knew him like part of the family. Even last week one of the nurses was reading him the Racing Post, even though he wasn’t in a good way.
‘It is said horses take after their trainer and his did. They just kept coming back and he did the same. I suppose he was one of the last old school trainers.’