Tuesday, December 13, 2011

End of an era as the great Denman retires

All good things come to an end, and though it had appeared that the great Denman would race on for one more season and thrill us with his exuberant chasing performances, a tendon injury has brought to a close the career of Paul Nicholls’ outstanding performer who has been retired with immediate effect, writes Elliot Slater.

A star of the British jumps racing scene for six seasons, Denman was being prepared for his seasonal return in the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown (a race he won as far back as 2007), when returning lame to the stables of his trainer and greatest admirer Paul Nicholls. Routine scans showed tendon damage, and after a brief consultation with owner Paul Barber, Nicholls made the announcement that Denman had run his last race and will be retired, although he won’t be leaving Ditcheat stables just yet as the champion trainer wants him to stay to the end of the season to keep his best friend and biggest rival Kauto Star company as the other great old warrior attempts to keep rolling back the years. People with victor chandler free bets will be sad to see him go.

Denman famously defeated Kauto Star in the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup before finishing second to his stable companion in the race 12 months later. He then went on to finish runner-up in the two subsequent renewals of the ultimate steeplechasing contest, most recently finishing second to the new young star, Long Run. As well as his outstanding Gold Cup record Denman also won two Hennessy Gold Cups under huge weights and won the RSA Chase in a career signified by his trademark dashing jumping and bold front-running. Fans of bwin should remember this.

Too often great sports stars go on for too long and are only remembered as a shadow of their former self, but in Denman’s case he is going out very close to the top after a stunning career and deserves many long and happy years out at grass in his retirement.

No comments:

Post a Comment