Gabrial Retired By Dr Marwan Koukash

Gabrial Retired By Dr Marwan Koukash

Popular veteran and Richard Fahey trainee Gabrial has been retired by his owner Dr Marwan Koukash.

A well-known inmate of Fahey's Malton, North Yorkshire-based yard for the last eight years, Gabrial was seven races short of completing a century of starts.

The ten-year-old won the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster in 2015, along with two valuable Listed races, but will always be known for being at the heart of his owner's close distinct love affair with Chester Racecourse.

Winning on his debut back in May 2011, the son of Dark Angel failed to win again in Cheshire from fourteen subsequent starts, but very much was the founding pillar to Koukash's 'Gabrial' ownership.

Earning £850,000 in prize-money, he closed the book when finishing fifth in a Class Four Claimer last month - in which he had been punted into 6/4 favouritism.

His trainer admits it was a sad day for the yard.

(Credit: Racing Post) Fahey said: "It's a sad day and we'll miss him but at least he's retired sound and right. He was a legend – a true professional and a proper racehorse. 

"We gave him some tough tasks in the Group races and he didn't let us down. He was expensive to keep but I don't think he's ever whipped round or done anything untoward in his life.

"I just hope he enjoys retirement because he loved this side of it."

Named after Koukash's son, it very much marks the end of an era really, given many of his achievements earlier on in his career.

Gabrial came home second in four group races - finishing an agonising neck down to Sovereign Debt in the 2017 Diomed Stakes at Epsom Downs.

He even chased home the likes of Frankel and Farhh in the 2012 Qatar Susses Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

(Credit: Racing Post) Owner Koukash said: "I know it was only a claimer but I would have loved for him to have ended with a win at Chester, but it wasn't to be.

"He's been a wonderful servant and has provided a lot of people with happy memories, and the time has come to say thank you for what he's done.

"He's part of the family and will be coming home to my yard in Knowsley where we have nice paddocks for him to enjoy himself."

Nine career victories on, the decision was made to finally call it day.

Gabrial's example proves racing is not all about your two-year-old or three-year-old campaigns to find the next star at stud.

You can have great fun in trainership or ownership with real flag bearers like these, that prime in consistency and longevity.

The empty box he leaves behind at Richard Fahey's yard will be a tough one to fill.

Happy retirement Gabrial!

When The Fun Stops. Stop.