The news emerged after Jessica Harrington trained Alpha Centauri’s career was brought to a sad end after suffering a fetlock injury on Saturday. As for Saxon Warrior, he was beaten once again by Roaring Lion in the Irish Champion, and had some swelling to his near-fore tendon the following morning, and as expected, no risks were taken.
Unbeaten as a 2yo, much was expected of the son of Japanese horse Deep Impact, after winning the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last year. He stormed down the Rowley Mile when landing the first classic of the season back in May; a first Classic success for Donnacha O’Brien - in the absence of regular first-choice ride Ryan Moore.
The master of Ballydoyle - Aiden O’Brien, looked to then pursue a Triple Crown campaign with his Guineas successor. Like so many horses that brave the tough track at Epsom, he did not handle the step up in trip or the conditions and was beaten by Masar in the Derby in June.
In hindsight, a return to a mile could of seen him return to his best and indeed the winners enclosure, but O’Brien continued on his quest to keep him at ten-furlongs to tackle Britain’s most prestigious races.
He came a neck second to Roaring Lion in the Eclipse at a Sandown, before finishing a good fourth in the £1 million Juddmonte International at York. He performed with much credit in five winless starts since his Guineas success, including his final start at Leopardstown on Saturday, when beaten once again by a neck and beaten once again by John Gosden trained Roaring Lion.
Plans had been drawn up to head to Ascot next month for the QE2 (1 mile) for a potential battle with Alpha Centauri, but his trainer revealed on Sunday that he had to sadly retire him.
O’Brien believed he may have made the wrong decisions with him this season, but praised him as a very talented racehorse.
He won four of his nine starts for the Coolmore partners, earning £1,112,467 in prize money. He will now head to stud.