Racing: Top two-miler Pearlyman put down at the age of 17

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Pearlyman, one of the outstanding two-mile chasers of the last decade, has been put down at the age of 17. The winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 1987 and 1988, is one of a select band to have won at the Cheltenham Festival three years in succession, having also triumphed in the 1986 Grand Annual Chase.

The gelding, who had been suffering from a serious sinus problem, was plagued by leg trouble for much of his career. He was retired after aggravating an injury when attempting a third Queen Mother victory in 1990.

John Edwards, who trained Pearlyman for his Cheltenham wins, paid tribute to the bay: "He was a wonderful horse and a great servant. He won at the Festival three years running and would have made it five if he had been right.

"He had bad legs all his life but I thought the world of him. He was an easy horse to place, a splendid jumper with plenty of speed - a machine."

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