West Yorkshire Hurdle-winning mare Roksana is retired due to injury

Blow: Roksana, the winner of Wetherby's West Yorkshire Hurdle last season, has been retired due to injury. Picture:  Alan Crowhurst/PA Wire.Blow: Roksana, the winner of Wetherby's West Yorkshire Hurdle last season, has been retired due to injury. Picture:  Alan Crowhurst/PA Wire.
Blow: Roksana, the winner of Wetherby's West Yorkshire Hurdle last season, has been retired due to injury. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/PA Wire.
Grade One-winning mare Roksana will not be defending her West Yorkshire Hurdle title at Wetherby later this month after being retired due to injury.

The nine-year-old was being prepared to defend her title in the Grade Two contest at the West Yorkshire track on October 30, but a suspensory problem has ended her career.

Announcing the decision, trainer Dan Skelton said Roksana will go to the North Devon stud of her owners, Sarah and Nigel Faulks.

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“She looks absolutely fantastic, and we were getting ready to go back to Wetherby again this year. Unfortunately she’s got a very small injury emerging in her suspensory,” Skelton posted on his official Twitter account.

“Racehorses unfortunately get injuries like this from time to time, and we have to be very careful with her.

“She’s going to be retired now and is going to stud at Sarah and Nigel Faulks’ place, who are her owners and who absolutely love her.

“For the whole team here it’s a bit of a sad day to be retiring her, but she retires effectively in one piece. She is still sound. She hasn’t hurt herself to the degree where she’s lame or anything like that.

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“She’s in fantastic condition and will now go and have foals.”

Roksana provided Skelton with his first Grade One triumph when she won the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019.

“She was our first Grade One winner,” he added. “We took her from her very first bumper all the way to Cheltenham glory and all those other races as well. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching her.

“We’ll hopefully see her foals on the racecourse in the future, but you won’t be seeing her again unfortunately.”

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Roksana won six of her 18 races and amassed £280,000 in prize money.

Tarnawa may defend her Breeders’ Cup Turf crown after she went so close to adding the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe to her brilliant record.

Connections will give the Dermot Weld-trained mare time to recover from her exertions as a three-quarter-length runner-up at ParisLongchamp on Sunday before any decisions are made.

Tarnawa put in a strong challenge in the final furlong but could not quite hold German raider Torquator Tasso, who passed her close home to spring a huge shock and claim the coveted spoils.

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“Tarnawa is tired, but you’d have to be so proud of the effort she has put in,” said Kris Weld, assistant to his father.

“She was in the form of her life, we knew that, and she represented us so well.

“Torquator Tasso’s form was very good and was there for all to see. He wasn’t running just because it was the Arc, and it was a very good renewal of the race.

“We’ll see how she comes out of the race, and the Breeders’ Cup is a distinct possibility, having won it last year.

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“We’ll take it one day at a time, and there is no talk about next year yet.”

Tarnawa was queen of Keeneland last November when she beat Magical by a length to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf and complete a hat-trick of Group One successes to go through 2020 unbeaten in four races.

The daughter of Shamardal made a belated reappearance when winning the Group Three Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown in August, followed by a narrow defeat to Aidan O’Brien’s now retired St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion Stakes over the same course last month.

Meanwhile, Ger Lyons’ unbeaten juvenile Straight Answer has been supplemented for the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

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The son of Kodiac won on his debut at the Curragh and was very impressive in a Listed race next time out, by five and a half lengths at Fairyhouse.

Barry Mahon, racing manager for owners Juddmonte, said: “He’s a big, scopey horse and took a bit of time to come to hand, but he’s two from two and won nicely on his last start.

“While this is a very big ask, we just thought it was worth a go as it will further his education for next year to put him in Group One company.

“Part of the reason we supplemented was the weather forecast, it looks set fair and he’s a horse that wants good ground. That would be our preference, so hopefully we don’t get any nasty surprises with the weather.