Apache Cat retired
Enormously popular sprinter Apache Cat has been retired as a result of a leg injury suffered in the Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin last Sunday.
Scans revealed the baldy-faced gelding fractured a sesamoid bone in the near foreleg when finishing seventh to Sacred Kingdom in the 1200m feature.
Trainer Greg Eurell confirmed that the owners, headed by Apache Cat’s breeder Paul Radford, had decided the eight-time Group One winner had run his last race.
"He has a small fracture at the base of the sesamoid. There was a suggestion that an operation could be done but at his age we wouldn’t do it to the horse," Eurell said of the seven-year-old.
"He’s done a terrific job and we’re very proud of his achievements and he deserves a break, and a graceful retirement is well deserved.
"It’s the first injury the horse has ever had so we’ve been blessed with the run we’ve had with him.
"It’s just unfortunate but the main thing is that he’s still alive and he can come home and enjoy his retirement and we can still get to see him.
"That was my greatest fear when he didn’t come back to scale that something more sinister may have happened."
Apache Cat won 19 races and was placed on another 11 occasions from 43 starts for just under $4.6 million in prizemoney.
Apart from his eight Group One victories, he won four Group Two races, four Group Threes and two Listed races.
His most recent victory came in the Group Two AJ Moir Stakes (1200m) three starts back on Cox Plate day at Moonee Valley which Eurell described as one of the magical moments in the horse’s career.
Eurell said Apache Cat’s 4-3/4 length victory in the 2008 Doomben 10,000 was probably his best win.
"He won the (Listed) Gibson Carmichael Stakes as a two-year-old and every preparation after that he won a Group race so it was a mighty effort," the Cranbourne trainer said.
"He was a class act. He had the ability, the temperament, the build, the toughness, the mental state of mind to allow him to be a good horse.
"He was cool, calm and collected and you could travel him anywhere."
Eurell said Apache Cat was still in Hong Kong under veterinary care and would be flown back to Australia on December 29.
He said the horse would be retired to Living Legends just outside Melbourne alongside other champions including Might And Power, Better Loosen Up, Doriemus and Fields Of Omagh.
By Mark Ryan