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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Monday, 9 August 2010 16:29 UK

Injured Harbinger forced to retire from racing

Harbinger wins King George VI

Harbinger wins the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot (UK only)

Record-breaking racehorse Harbinger has been retired from the sport.

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner fractured his near-fore cannon bone, his front shin, while on the gallops in Newmarket on Saturday.

He had surgery, which was considered successful, the same evening but it was not enough to save his career.

The four-year-old, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was rated the world's best horse over the distance of a mile-and-a-half.

Harbinger made his name with an astonishing display in the King George in July, winning by 11 lengths in a record time from Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco, with his Epsom Derby-winning stablemate Workforce back in fifth.

"Thanks to the professionalism of the veterinary surgeons, the operation which was undertaken at Rossdales Hospital in Newmarket has been very successful," said Highclere Thoroughbred Racing official Harry Herbert.


"We are pleased to report that thankfully the horse is recovering well. The decision to retire Harbinger is based on the welfare of the horse which is paramount to all concerned.

"The owners, for whom this is very sad, are naturally sorry that their great horse has had his racing career cut short."

He had been due to return in the Juddmonte International at York on 17 August, and was ante-post favourite for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October before bookmakers withdrew him from the betting on Saturday.

Harbinger, a son of Dansili, won his last four races, including the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, and accrued more than £770,000 in prize money.

"Harbinger has given all concerned the ultimate thrill at the very highest level," added Herbert.

"The highest-rated horse in the world, Harbinger won six of his nine starts and is undefeated this year.

"In winning the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot so impressively and then producing one of the greatest performances of all time to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes by 11 lengths in record time, Harbinger has confirmed himself as one of the all-time greats."

A decision on a potentially lucrative stud career has yet to be confirmed.

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see also
Harbinger suffers fractured leg
08 Aug 10 |  Horse Racing
Fame in frame for Arc after win
08 Aug 10 |  Horse Racing
Ireland win Shergar Cup at Ascot
07 Aug 10 |  Horse Racing
Harbinger lands King George win
24 Jul 10 |  Horse Racing
Harbinger set for Workforce clash
24 Jun 10 |  Horse Racing

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