Racing: Martha's Son forced to retire

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The Independent Online
MARTHA'S SON, one of the best and bravest two-mile chasers of recent years, has been retired. Trained throughout his career by Tim Forster, Martha's Son has not raced since an injury in last year's Peterborough Chase forced him to pull up. Although severe muscle damage was diagnosed it had been hoped that he would be back this season.

Martha's Son was bred by Michael Ward-Thomas and owned by him in partnership with the late Paddy Hartigan. "The danger of a further injury is such that it is not fair to the horse to continue racing," Ward-Thomas said yesterday.

Forster, who now trains under permit, said: "I would say he was the best I've ever had. He was a child's pony at home and a tiger on the racecourse - all he wanted to do was please. He is going to Newmarket to be Michael Bell's hack. It is most important that these old horses have something to do."

Martha's Son won the 1997 Champion Chase after having jumped just one fence that campaign. He had been off with a leg problem, but fell at the second on his reappearance.