2012 Grand National runner-up Sunnyhillboy retired

JP McManus owned gelding came second at Aintree by narrowest margin in history

Sunnyhillboy, runner-up in the 2012 Grand National at Aintree, has been retired.

The JP McManus-owned gelding was beaten a nose by Neptune Collonges, the narrowest defeat in the history of the world famous steeplechase.

He was tailed off when unseating his rider at the final fence in 2013 but did not make it to the race last April.

It was hoped he would have a third crack at the National but connections of the Jonjo O’Neill-trained 12-year-old have decided to call it a day after he was well-beaten at Haydock last weekend on his first run for 14 months.

He will spend his retirement at his owner’s Martinstown Stud in County Limerick.

"He has come back out of his run the other day fine. He ran well to a point, but he's just lost a bit of his sparkle," said McManus' racing manager Frank Berry.

“He’s been such a good servant to us we didn’t want to carry on any longer and it’s better to retire him. He’ll go back to Martinstown.

"He was just touched off in the National and he had a great day at Cheltenham when he won the Kim Muir (in 2012).

“He’s a great little horse. He wasn’t that big, but he was full of heart. I wish we had a yard full like him.”

Winner of nine of his 29 career starts, Sunnyhillboy amassed just under €540,000 in prize money.