Retirement for Istabraq

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  • Cheltenham saw Istabraq’s triumphant career come to an end as J P McManus announces the triple champion hurdlers’ retirement

    Istabraq, the triple Champion Hurdler who lost hiscrown when he pulled up at Cheltenham on Tuesday, has retired from racing.

    The gelding’s owner J P McManus said at Cheltenham on Wednesday: “He will hopefully have a long and happy retirement at home with me.

    “I saw himon Tuesday evening and he was in very good form,” added McManus. “He ate up and will make a full recovery.”

    Istabraq, the most popular jumper on both sides of the Irish Sea, left his second home at Prestbury Park under a cloud of disappointment when his rider Charlie Swan pulled him up after jumping only two hurdles.

    “His action had gone,” reported Swan. “It was a physical thing and I wanted to look after the interests of the horse.”

    McManus went on: “I’d like to thank everybody for their good wishes and for their concern about the horse. The ovation he received leading in was very heart warming. I speak on behalf of Istabraq and he appreciated it.

    “I am very pleased to have him home.Yesterday was not disappointing for me, he had a great innings here and he has gone out safe and well. I am sure he will be coming back here to parade whenever he’s asked.”

    The Champion Hurdle was marred by the death of Tony McCoy’s mount Valiramix, who was humanely put down after breaking a shoulder.

    The new champion Hors La Loi 111, who had finished second to Istabraq in the race two years ago, was hailed as the new champion, albeit in the most dramatic of circumstances.

    Read more about Istabraq’s career:

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