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Racing: Snurge is retired

SNURGE, who collected more prize-money than any other European-based horse in a 34-race career, has run his last race. The seven-year-old picked up a foot injury when last of six to Wagon Master in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot and has failed to make an adequate recovery.

Paul Cole, who trained the son of Ela Mana Mou throughout his career, said: 'Snurge sadly will not race again and we are looking for a place for him at stud.

'His record speaks for itself. He was a durable, sound horse who always ran his heart out in battle with Europe's best Group One horses. He is a great friend and I'm sure he will be a great success as a stallion.'

Snurge won seven races and was placed another 15 times in a career that spanned the globe. He collected a European-record pounds 1,326,704 in win and place prize-money.

His biggest single haul came at Woodbine in Canada in 1992 when he was awarded the pounds 340,107 Rothmans International after finishing second to Wiorno. But arguably his finest hour was his victory in the 1990 St Leger at Doncaster.

Australian scientists yesterday rejected local media claims that poison may have caused the deaths of the Queensland trainer Vic Rail and 14 horses, reaffirming that they had identified the lethal virus. Ian Douglas, of Queensland's Animal Health Bureau, said: 'It is almost certain the virus was introduced into Rail's stable when a mare was returned from a nearby paddock.'