Racing: King Of Kings retired to stud

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KING OF KINGS has run his last race. The 2,000 Guineas winner suffered a recurrence of an old knee injury when trailing in last in Saturday's Derby and is to be retired to stud. It marks a drastic change of fortunes for his trainer, Aidan O'Brien, who has been sweeping all before him and won the Oaks with Shahtoush on Friday.

"He was very lame this morning," O'Brien said yesterday. "Our vet has X-rayed him. It seems that there's nothing that can be done. The problem seems worse than last year so it's the end of his racing career."

O'Brien's Second Empire and Saratoga Springs also finished down the field. "It looks like we ran Saratoga Springs back too fast," the trainer said of the colt who ran in the French Derby last Sunday. "He was a bit flat and we will give him a little break, with maybe the Irish Derby looking likely for him.

"It seems as though Second Empire didn't stay so we will revert to a mile or 10 furlongs with him. The St James's Palace Stakes will come a bit quick and the Eclipse is a possible target."

King Of Kings's retirement continues the run of ill-fortune which has dogged recent 2,000 Guineas winners. Last year's winner, Entrepreneur, was beaten at odds-on in the Derby and was retired after one further race. The 1995 winner, Pennekamp, suffered a career-ending injury at Epsom while the 1993 victor, Zafonic, was retired after just one further run.