Racing: Istabraq's racing days are over

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The Independent Online

Istabraq's career looks over after the 10-year-old was pulled up when attempting a record fourth success at Cheltenham on Tuesday.

Charlie Swan felt uneasy on Istabraq after he had jumped just one flight and after taking the second hurdle decided to pull the 2-1 favourite up. Vet John Halley found that Istabraq had damaged a tendon and thought that the injury occurred either jumping off or jumping the first hurdle.

His trainer, Aidan O'Brien, said yesterday: "He will travel home to Ballydoyle with Darapour this evening and will be re-examined by John Halley tomorrow morning. His owner, J P McManus, added: "I think he has obviously run his last race. I think it is asking a lot to have another one as good."

Istabraq won the Champion in 1998, 1999 and 2000.