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Champion Stakes winner Almanzor has run final race

20 Aug 2017

Connections of middle-distance star make "difficult decision" to retire him

Almanzor and Christophe Soumillon win the QIPCO Champion Stakes

Almanzor was a superb winner of the QIPCO British Champions Stakes. Picture:

Almanzor, who helped light up QIPCO British Champions Day last year, has been retired, it was revealed late on Sunday.

The brilliant Jean-Claude Rouget-trained colt was Europe’s top middle-distance performer last season – his win in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot, at the expense of Arc heroine Found, being achieved after superb victories in the French Derby and QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes.

However, sadly, the decision to keep him in training this year was not rewarded. He belatedly made his comeback last week in a Group 3 event but was well beaten at 1-2.

“After consultations with Jean-Claude Rouget and the partners, we have come to the difficult decision to retire Almanzor,” said Sylvain Vidal, representative of part-owner Gerard Augustin-Normand, to Thoroughbred Daily News.

“We came into the year with great hopes and expectations for a successful campaign culminating in glory in the Arc de Triomphe. Unfortunately with the setback he has had, including the virus spread through the stable earlier this year, it is apparent that he would not be fit enough to challenge for the Arc this year.

“We all remember his three Group 1 wins at three including his amazing finish in the Irish Champion Stakes,” Vidal added. “The best horse in Europe in 2016 with a rating of 126, he has huge potential as a stallion. Decisions regarding his career at stud will be made and announced at a later date.”