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27 Sep 2018
Issue Number: Issue 648
Seemar can only hope for another upward performance from North America
Dubai playing a key role in British racing, says Jockey Club boss
Busybody Tadhg looks to scale mountains after climbing Hills
Nass’ trial and error style seems to be working wonders for him
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SUPERSTAR filly Alpha Centauri has been retired after suffering a chipped fetlock in her defeat to Laurens in the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. The news emerged the following afternoon, after the Jessica Harrington-trained filly had undergone a thorough examination at Fethard Equine Clinic. Her defeat to Laurens ended a magnificent run of Group One wins for the daughter of Mastercraftsman, which began with the Irish 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes, Falmouth Stakes and Prix Jacques le Marois. Alan Cooper, racing manager to owners the Niarchos family, explained: "Unfortunately the decision has been taken to retire Alpha Centauri on veterinary advice and on consultation with Jessie.

"She had a chip in her right front fetlock – which you could see her feeling in the closing stages yesterday. "It's not a catastrophic injury and hopefully she can enjoy a successful career as a broodmare." A saying about London buses sprang to mind when, on the same day, it was also confirmed the Aidan O'Brien-trained 2000 Guineas hero Saxon Warrior had been retired following a tendon injury sustained in the Irish Champion Stakes. The Deep Impact colt narrowly came off second best in a titanic battle with his old rival Roaring Lion at Leopardstown. He emerged as a classy colt when winning the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster at the end of last season, before reappearing with his Classic success in May.

Perhaps surprisingly, the 3yo son of Deep Impact did not win again: sent off favourite for the Derby, he could only finish fourth and was then beaten in the Irish equivalent. He ran much better when second in the Coral Eclipse to Roaring Lion, but was then badly struck down by the virus which hit O'Brien's yard in the summer. Down the field in the Juddmonte International on his first run back, a race also won by Roaring Lion, he improved markedly on that effort at the weekend, but was yet again behind John Gosden's colt. O'Brien said: "He badly damaged a tendon in the race which was a pity and when he came home last night we wrapped him up.

"When we looked at him this morning his tendon wasn't in a good place. There's a tear in there and it's a big pity. "He was an amazing horse. Coming into this year we thought he was a horse with a chance to win the Triple Crown so we wanted to give him a chance in the Derby. We went to Epsom, but I felt he didn't act on the track. “He was very sick after the Eclipse and the plan was to bring him back for three races, he was just ready to start back at York and we wanted to run him at Leopardstown and then back at a mile at Ascot. "It's probably my fault he did not win again; I probably should have kept him at a mile."

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