Gold Cup hero Denman retired after injury


Tagged under: 3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase 3m 2 1/2f

Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Denham has been retired after damaging his near fore tendon while preparing for his seasonal debut.

Trainer Paul Nicholls has announced that his much loved 11-year-old had been preparing to make his seasonal debut in the Lexus Stakes at Leopardstown later in the month when he picked the injury that has ended his career.

Nicholls revealed in his Betfair blog; "A scan yesterday afternoon revealed tiny damage to his near fore tendon, so this morning marks the end of an era for Ditcheat.

"Denman was great on Wednesday morning as he worked towards his intended start in the Lexus later this month, but he pulled up a little bit sore yesterday morning.

"So we called Buffy (our vet) in to scan him at 4pm yesterday afternoon, and that revealed the problem with his near fore tendon.

"We immediately informed his owner Paul Barber who, after consulting those close to him, took the decision to retire him. It was the only course of action to take."

Nicholls added: "We are all devastated here at Ditcheat but Denman has given us some wonderful moments on the track, winning a Gold Cup, finishing runner-up in three more, as well two Hennessys, a Lexus and a Sun Alliance Chase.

"He will be given an honourable retirement. But for the immediate future he will be kept in his box next to Kauto for the rest of season. Denman will always be a legend here at Ditcheat. So this truly is an end of an era."

Denman and Kauto Star have been Gold Cup rivals since Denman beat his stablemate in the Cheltenham Festival showpiece in 2008 after which he finished runner up on the next three occasions. Denman first appeared on the racecourse when winning a point-to-point at Liscaroll in 2005, he went on to win 14 times under rules, including two Hennesy Gold Cups and amassed over £1 million in prize money.

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