Seven-time Grade 1 winner Silviniaco Conti has run his last race
Paul Nicholls lauded Silviniaco Conti as a legend after the seven-time Grade 1 winner was retired following an unplaced effort in the Betway Bowl at Aintree.
The 11-year-old, who will be best remembered for his back-to-back victories in the King George VI Chase in 2013 and 2014, also won the Betfair Chase twice and was bidding for a third success in the Bowl but finished sixth of seven under Noel Fehily.
"It's the right decision to retire him," said Nicholls. "We were thinking about it and even if he had won we still might have done the same thing. Like Noel said, he's still got the ability and enthusiasm but the legs aren't quite there now.
"He's a bit older and he's had a lot of hard races and it's nice to retire him at the top as it were. He's been a legend as he came along at the time Kauto and Denman were retired and we needed another good one."
Silviniaco Conti ran in three Cheltenham Gold Cups and was sent off 3-1 favourite in 2015, but he never showed his best form at Prestbury Park.
He ends a glittering career a winner of 16 of his 36 starts, while he gained £1,151,609 in prize-money for owners Chris Giles and Jared Sullivan.
Nicholls added: "We'll find a good home for him and he'll go hunting and team chasing and will get well looked after."