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Monday, 2 December, 2002, 16:15 GMT
Hennessy winner retired
Casey guides Be My Royal to the winners enclosure at Newbury
All smiles from Casey after the Hennessy triumph
Be My Royal, winner of last weekend's Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, has been retired after suffering a serious injury.

The eight-year-old triumphed by half a length over Gingembre at Newbury, but jockey David Casey felt his mount go lame close to the line and quickly dismounted after his victory.

Although the problem was not thought to be serious at the time, trainer Willie Mullins admitted on Sunday that he was concerned about the horse, a stablemate of Florida Pearl.

And Mullins revealed on Tuesday that a vet had examined the horse and said he should be retired.

"He took one feel and said straight away that he'd had his last race," said Mullins.

"He has ruptured a tendon and although he will be okay with plenty of rest, his racing days are over.

"He will have two or three months box-rest and then we will look for a good home for him to retire to."

It is a cruel blow as Be My Royal had appeared to overcome the jumping problems which plagued him last season to produce a superb performance in the Hennessy.

Florida Pearl and Barry Geraghty
Florida Pearl will miss out next weekend

Mullins added that he remained confident Florida Pearl would be ready to defend his King George VI Chase title at Kempton on Boxing Day.

The 10-year-old will miss out on an intended engagement in the Punchestown Chase in Ireland next Sunday after having a course of antibiotics.

"It's obviously disappointing that he won't be able to run in the John Durkan Chase but it is just a 10-day thing," said Mullins.

"He was fairly fit already so we will just treat him and with a couple of pieces of work he will hopefully be back at his best."

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