‘Great’ Borderlescott heads off to a fully-deserved retirement

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TWO-TIME Yorkshire horse of the year Borderlescott, the super sprinter who won successive Nunthorpe Stakes, has been retired after a phenomenal 66-race career.

Wetherby trainer Robin Bastiman feels time is catching up with the 10-year-old who won the Grade One Nunthorpe in 2008 and 2009 as well as other major sprints like the Stewards’ Cup, King George Stakes and, most recently, the Beverley Bullet in September.

Borderlescott, the winner of 14 races and £775,000 in prize money, failed to sparkle in his last run at Dundalk a month ago, with owners James Edgar and William Donaldson gifting their horse of a lifetime to the trainer’s daughter Rebecca.

“We’ve decided to retire him. We were a bit worried after his last run, he wasn’t quite right. He was probably telling us in a way and we roughed him off after that anyway,” said Bastiman yesterday.

“He’ll be staying with us – he’s part of the yard. It’s a sad day but he’s done us proud. It’s time now. He’ll be 11 next year and there’s all these young sprinters coming along. They lose their pace eventually and he’s had to run against the best all the time with his rating.

“The highlight was when he won the Nunthorpe at York on home ground. The first time he won it was at Newmarket as York was abandoned. With him being a Yorkshire horse, that was the day.

“There have been plenty of good days – when he won the Stewards’ Cup and he just got beaten by a short head the following year. He’s simply been a great horse.

“With most Group Ones, they are won by colts and you never see them again, they end up being stallions and he’s a gelding. He’s out in the field now and is as happy as a sand boy. He’s being roughed off and talking it well at the moment.”

Meanwhile Malton trainer John Quinn’s Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame will line up in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.

However, first-season trainer Harry Fry will decide this morning before deciding whether to let Rock On Ruby, the reigning Champion Hurdler, take his chance in the two-mile Grade One.