Last Sunday’s Australian Hurdle (3900m) winner Chequered Flag is likely to have run his last race after emerging from the feature event with a serious joint injury.
Co-trainer Ciaron Maher, who prepares Chequered Flag in partnership with David Eustace, confirmed that the elite hurdler may not race again as he faced an operation and a long period of rehabilitation.
"He injured his joint which is a great shame," Maher said.
"But he’s been a very good horse and there’s a great group of guys in him so if he can’t race on, I’m sure he’ll be a good paddock mate or a nanny.
"He’s such a nice horse."
A son of Raise The Flag, Chequered Flag began his career in New Zealand with Mark Brooks before transferring across the Tasman and he bows out of racing as the winner of $430,000 in prizemoney, with eight wins to his name and a further 19 placings.
His reputation as a hurdler grew again after he gamely beat fellow Kiwi import Killarney Kid at Sandown on Sunday to win the Australian Hurdle by two and three quarter lengths. Notably, there was 35 lengths to the third horse Lucques.