Galileo Gold retirement a ‘bit of a blow’ for Newmarket stable

BETTER TIMES: Hugo Palmer congratulates Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori after they return to the paddock victorious in the 2016 Guineas
BETTER TIMES: Hugo Palmer congratulates Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori after they return to the paddock victorious in the 2016 Guineas
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Newmarket-trainer Hugo Palmer has said it was ‘a bit of a blow’ to discover that 2016 Guineas winner Galileo Gold had a career-ending injury.

The four-year-old was surprisingly retired this week after appearing to pick up an injury in his run in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 20.

The colt had excelled through the early part of the 2016 season, claiming Classic glory in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket before finishing second in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh. He also won the St James’ Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But the son of Paco Boy struggled on his reappearance, having to settle for fifth in Newbury.

It is now understood the horse was suffering from a soft tissue injury which led to the decision to retire the horse and send him to stud.

Palmer said: “It is of course sad to have to make this decision, and it did come as a bit of a blow.

“But he was a delight to train and we hope that he has a great stallion career ahead now.

“If his progeny were to inherit his talent, they would be a joy to train.”

Galileo Gold ran in the colours of Al Shaqab, whose racing manager Harry Herbert said: “It’s a great shame, real sadness all round.

“It’s a soft-tissue injury that meant we couldn’t carry on with his career at this stage of the season.

“It’s very sad. His run in the Lockinge was very disappointing, but obviously in the cold light of day there’s a reason for it.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t go on with his career because he had been working very well.

“He provided us with our first Classic winner and of course it was a wonderful season with the St James’s Palace Stakes victory as well.

“All credit to Hugo Palmer and his team, who have done such a fantastic job with him.

“He’ll go to stud, but no decision has been taken on that. It’s still very much in the melting pot.

“We were very excited what he might achieve this year, but he’s a great looking horse, with a great pedigree, good constitution and a fantastic brain.

“He has a lot of ticks in the right boxes for a stallion career ahead.”

Palmer’s charge won five of his 12 career starts — including the 2,000 Guineas — earning £960,886 in prize-money.