Ace sprinter Julius has been retired.
A scan has revealed the Swiss Ace gelding has a hole in his near fore tendon, leaving Cambridge trainer John Bell no choice but to call time on the seven-year-old’s career.
“He’s not lame but every now and again you’d see him bob a bit and it just showed something was niggling him,” Bell said.
“He’s still bouncing around the paddock and full of himself but as Jason [Waddell, Julius’ regular rider] said, that’s just the heart he’s got.”
Julius raced just 13 times for seven wins and six placings, earning more than $228,000 in stakes.
He won his first four races this year, including the Group 3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) and Group 3 Darley Stallions Plate (1200m), both at Ellerslie, before he was narrowly defeated by Melody Belle in the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa in August, the winner going on to Group 1 wins at her next two starts.
“He’s been a marvellous horse to do anything with and I’m absolutely so proud to have been part of what he’s done,” Bell said.
“Even in his last start at Rotorua [in the Group 3 Sweynesse Stakes over 1200m], he missed the start but still only went down a nose and a head.”
Bell had been planning to race Julius in the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 1, a race he produced Mosse for as second favourite in 2015 before that horse finished 10th.
“He’ll retire at my place and share the back paddock with Mosse. Just a couple of horses that can reminisce about what they could have been in they had stayed sound,” Bell said.