Don Cossack Forced To Retire

2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner Don Cossack has been forced to retire due to injury.

Gigginstown House has confirmed that they have made the decision in consultation with trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Bryan Cooper

They say the decision has been made due to a combination of his age and a recurrence of the tendon injury which he suffered last April shortly after winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

2014 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle hero Jezki is expected to return to action later this month. The Jessica Harrington-trained 9-year-old hasn’t been seen in public since he defeated Hurricane Fly at the Punchestown Festival in 2015 but his trainer has Navan on Saturday January 21 penciled in for his much-awaited comeback.

Sidelined with tendon trouble, the JP McManus-owned eight-time Grade 1 winner missed his intended return to action at Leopardstown over Christmas when a minor setback put paid to those plans but it’s all systems go now.

His Moone, Co Kildare-based trainer said, “It was disappointing that he had to miss Christmas with a niggly problem, but he did a piece of work last week and we are very happy with him now. He’s going to have his first start back in a winners’ of one race at Navan on Saturday week. The conditions of the race allow him to run and we are looking forward to getting him back.”

The Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle on St Patrick’s Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival on March 16 has been nominated as his primary target this season and his trainer added, “After Navan, he will probably run at Gowran Park in the Red Mills Hurdle on Saturday, February 18 and all going well, he will then be aimed at the Stayers’ Hurdle.”