Sacred Kingdom: three-time world champion sprinter has been retiredPICTURE: HKJC
Top sprinter Sacred Kingdom retired
Hong Kong: Sacred Kingdom, three times named world champion sprinter in the global rankings, has been retired.
Trainer Ricky Yiu sent Sacred Kingdom into retirement after the eight-year-old finished down the course in a Group 3 sprint at Sha Tin on Sunday.
"He didn't jump properly which had a bearing on his performance but maybe he's just fed up with it all and the time is right," Yiu told the South China Morning Post.
A son of Australian super sire Encosta De Lago, Sacred Kingdom retires as one of Hong Kong's most decorated racehorses.
He was named Horse Of The Year for 2009-2010 and won three international Group 1 races including dual successes in the Hong Kong Sprint.
For three years in a row between 2007 and 2009, Sacred Kingdom reigned as the world's premier sprinter.
The most recent of his 17 wins came under Australian jockey Brett Prebble in the Centenary Sprint at Sha Tin in January last year.
Yiu rated Sacred Kingdom the equal of another champion, Fairy King Prawn.
"For me he was on a par with Fairy King Prawn as the best horse I have trained," Yiu Said. "He was on that level and I keep dreaming that I will train another one as good."
Yiu said he expected Sacred Kingdom to return to Australia to live out his retirement days.