Hot on the heels of the news that Dirty Dozen member Wuheida, winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf last season, an impressive winner of the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes on her return to the track this season, has been retired following the recurrence of old injuries more bad news.
It has been announced last year's Ascot Gold Cup winner, and perennial favourite at Triple G Towers, Big Orange will not defend his crown this year. Trainer Michael Bell revealed his star stayer has an injury which has ruled him out for the rest of the season. Talking on Wednesday 16th May Bell said: "Big Orange was scanned this evening and he has damaged his off-fore suspensory which is definitely season ending but hopefully not career ending. He is 100 per cent sound at the trot but Tyrone my head lad picked up some heat in his right fore this evening and the scan revealed a small hole. With protracted rest and recuperation the initial veterinary advice is that it should heal and we hopefully have a good chance of getting him back next year."
I am glad Wuheida gets to retire to the paddocks and hopefully live a long a fruitful life as a broodmare. As Charlie Appleby said at the time of the announcement "I am pleased she went out on a high with such an emphatic win at Newmarket. She was a very talented filly on the racecourse. She will go to stud, and Godolphin look forward to seeing her progeny in due course."
And as for Big Orange, all being well he will be back, and I doff my cap to the team at Fitzroy House for spotting the problem so quickly. My fingers are crossed that the seven-year-old does run next year but if he doesn’t he certainly owes me nothing. A picture of him holding off Order Of St George in that epic finish to the 2017 Ascot Gold Cup sits above my desk at Triple G Towers and will remain there for many years to come.