Dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux, one of the best chasers Britain has produced in recent years, has been retired.
The 11-year-old, owned by Paul Barber, Ged Mason and Sir Alex Ferguson, was last seen finishing second to Allaho in the Punchestown Gold Cup last April.
However, he suffered a suspensory injury ahead of a planned return to action at the Grand National meeting, where he was set to defend his Aintree Bowl title, and trainer Paul Nicholls lost a race against time to get him fit for a hat-trick bid for the race he won in 2021 and 2022.
Connections feel the veteran, who won five Grade One races, including the 2018 and 2019 King George and the 2021 Punchestown Gold Cup, owes them nothing, and they have decided to draw stumps on a career that saw him win nine of 27 races over fences and finish runner-up on another nine occasions in that sphere.
“We are announcing that we are retiring Clan Des Obeaux,” Nicholls said on his weekly ‘Ditcheat Decs’ with Betfair.
“He’s got a minor injury which just keeps niggling him, it’s not going to come right and even if we give him another six months off we’ll be in the same situation this time next year.
“So, having a chat with Paul Barber, Jed Mason and Alex Ferguson, between us we decided that he’s been such a wonderful horse, he’s won two King Georges, two Aintree Bowls, the Punchestown Gold Cup. He’s been an amazing horse.
“He’s had a fantastic career, I think he’s won over £1m in prize money. He’s going to have a happy retirement.
“He’ll have a little bit of time off, probably needs six months out in the field, and we’ll find another job for him.
“I think winning at Punchestown the season before last, that was a good day, to go and beat the Irish on their home ground was good. He was top of his game and that was fantastic.”