Reigning Gold Cup champion Don Cossack has been retired with a leg injury.
The Irish-trained horse, who suffered the injury in April, has not featured since winning the 2016 Cheltenham race.
Trainer Gordon Elliott wrote on his Betfair blog: “We found that he had a bit of heat in his leg yesterday and we’ve made the decision to call time.
“He’s a horse of a lifetime and he owes us nothing. I said all season that if he had any sort of setback at all we would retire him straight away.”
The nine-year-old was the top-rated horse in Britain and Ireland for the past two seasons.
Elliott added: “It’s a real sickener for Gigginstown [stables], myself, Bryan Cooper and the whole yard. We knew it was never certain we would get him back to the racecourse and even after that, to get him back to his best. But we were hopeful and he was on track for a run at Gowran Park next month.
“It was one of the highlights of my career when Don Cossack won the Gold Cup for us last year and he retires a champion. A peaceful retirement awaits him out in Gigginstown.”
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