Ten-time Grade One winner Beef Or Salmon was retired yesterday (Wednesday 23 April) following the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup.
A crowd favourite in his native Ireland, Beef Or Salmon was greeted with resounding cheers when he was paraded in front of huge numbers of spectators both before and after the race.
Ridden by Timmy Murphy, Beef Or Salmon bowed out honourably, finishing sixth. The pair won the race in 2004.
He finished 33 lengths behind winner Neptune Collonges — who took the race for a second consecutive year under Ruby Walsh.
The Michael Hourigan trained 12-year-old boasts an impressive career with 19 wins from 46 starts. One of the most successful Irish chasers his record of ten Grade One victories is matched only by Moscow Flyer.
“This was the hardest day in terms of him running — I just wanted him to come back safe and sound,” said Mr Hourigan. “He has meant everything, he has been a super horse for the yard and now you have to try and find another one.”
He added: “He’s absolutely fine today and looking very happy. He’s been a star, but I think he’s going to love being retired.”
In his retirement Beef Or Salmon will be ridden as a dressage horse by owner Joe Craig’s 15-year-old grandson Conor Drain in County Antrim.
The 2005 Grand National winner Hedgehunter was also paraded with Beef Or Salmon at Punchestown having recently been retired.
H&H will be celebrating the career of Beef Or Salmon in the 8 May issue. For our exclusive interview, including behind the scene pictures of Beef Or Salmon at home, make sure you pick up a copy.