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'End of an era' as Denman retires

A small tendon injury has forced Paul Nicholls’s great chaser to retire at the age of 11.

Image: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP winner Denman has been retired from racing, trainer Paul Nicholls confirmed this morning.

The Ditcheat legend suffered a small tendon injury yesterday while preparing for his seasonal debut in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown after Christmas.

A scan yesterday afternoon revealed the problem, prompting a sudden announcement as owner Paul Barber chose to immediately retire the 11-year-old.

The decision, Nicholls told Betfair.com, marks the “end of an era” for one of the great chasers of recent years, famed for his Gold Cup battles with stable-mate Kauto Star.

“It was the only course of action to take,” Nicholls said.

“We are all devastated here at Ditcheat but Denman has given us some wonderful moments on the track, winning a Gold Cup, finishing runner-up in three more, as well two Hennessys, a Lexus and a Sun Alliance Chase.

“He will be given an honourable retirement. But for the immediate future and to help his great friend Kauto Star, he will be kept in his box next to Kauto for the rest of season.

Denman will always be a legend here at Ditcheat. So this truly is an end of an era.

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Niall Kelly

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