Sport Horse Racing

Friday 15 November 2019

'We didn't want to risk her' - O'Brien on call to retire Magical

Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Aidan O'Brien has confirmed Magical will miss this weekend's Breeders' Cup and will now be retired from racing.

The four-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic campaign in 2019 - claiming top-level victories in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

O'Brien was hoping to see his ultra-consistent filly crown her excellent career with victory in the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Saturday, but she did not board the flight to California on Monday after spiking a temperature.

O'Brien said: "Fifteen minutes after she had done her work this morning, her temperature was raised. She was due to go at 9.30am and her temperature was taken at 9.15am.

"We didn't want to travel her because when she goes over there, she'd have to go into quarantine. If she did develop anything travelling over, then that would have locked up quarantine.

"We didn't want to risk her, especially after a long season and on a long journey. Before they travel we always want their temperatures to be 100 percent."

Magical retires having won nine of her 21 career starts.

Meanwhile, Robbie Power steered Champagne Classic (6/4) to victory in the featured MW Hickey Memorial Chase at Wexford yesterday.

Having won the previous maiden hurdle on Silver Sheen (15/8 fav) for Jessica Harrington, Power doubled up with Gordon Elliott's eight-year-old in the four-runner field.

He may have been edged out for favouritism by Discorama but he comfortably had that rival's measure out on the track, eventually taking the spoils by three and three parts of a length.

Elsewhere, Samcro could make his eagerly-awaited debut over fences in the Advanced NI Scaffolding Beginners Chase at Down Royal on Friday.

The Gordon Elliott-trained seven-year-old was among 16 entries for this near two-and-a-half-mile event which could see him return after a 307-day absence.

Irish Independent

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