Australia: will not race again after developing a hoof injuryPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Awesome Australia retired to stud
AUSTRALIA, the brilliant winner of three Group 1 races, has been retired after a hoof injury cut short his career on the track.
The English and Irish Derby winner was being prepared for next week's Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot but it was revealed on Saturday morning that he will not race again and instead will head to Coolmore Stud to start his stallion career.
Kevin Buckley, Coolmore's UK representative, said: "Unfortunately Australia developed a problem in his right-hind hoof during the week and following consultation between the resident farrier in Ballydoyle, our vet and the respective owners a decision was made to retire him to Coolmore."
Speaking on the Morning Line, Buckley added: "We were all looking forward to Ascot but, as you can appreciate, any type of setback like that jeopardises the training regime and hence we had to make the decision he would not be ready for Champions Day."
Explaining the injury that means Australia will be unable to retire on a winning note after suffering a shock defeat in the Irish Champion Stakes on his latest and final run, Ballydoyle farrier Jeff Henderson said: "At the beginning of the week we discovered a bit of soreness in the heel, which makes us suspicious of a hoof abscess.
"So we poulticed away at it and the infection came out and there were no soundness issues at all. Then a couple of days later he pulled out lame and on inspection we realised the infection had blown out through the bottom of the foot as well as the top.
"What happens in most cases it undermines and eats away at the attachment of the hoof wall to the sensory structures and therefore rendering it weak and unstable. At that time he was stopped.
"In a case like this it's going to take a couple of weeks for the stability to come back and in that time we're losing fitness and therefore he's not going to be able to join in on Champions Weekend."
Australia defeats Kingston Hill to land his first Derby success at EpsomPICTURE: Getty Images
The son of champion sire Galileo out of multiple Group 1-winner and Oaks heroine Ouija Board, Australia was bred to be a champion and from early in his career Aidan O'Brien hailed him as the best horse he had trained.
O’Brien said: "From very early days we thought Australia was as good as any horse we have ever had here and nothing has happened to change our view. He’s unique."
Beaten on his debut at the Curragh after breaking slowly from the stalls, Australia made his second start a winning one before slamming Free Eagle by six lengths in his final start at two in a Group 3 at Leopardstown and shooting to the head of the Derby market.
His Classic campaign started with a narrow defeat in the 2,000 Guineas, where he was headed only in the dying strides by Night Of Thunder and champion miler Kingman.
Starting the 11-8 favourite at Epsom in June, Australia followed in his parents' hoofprints with a one and a quarter-length defeat of subsequent St Leger winner Kingston Hill.
An easy victory in the Irish Derby followed before Australia successfully dropped in trip to 1m2f to land the Juddmonte International at York from the The Grey Gatsby.
On his eighth and final start, Australia was sent off the 30-100 favourite to add the Irish Champions Stakes to his winning haul but after making ground on the outside of the field, he was caught close home by The Grey Gatsby under an inspired Ryan Moore ride.
The winner of five races and three at the highest level, Australia retires having earned £2,090,503 in prize-money and looks set for an illustrious career alongside Galileo at Coolmore.