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Australian Cup winner Spillway has been retired.

The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained import came out of his fourth in last year’s $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney with a suspensory injury.

He underwent a rehabilitation program with a view to returning to racing during the upcoming autumn but those hopes were dashed about a month ago and Dabernig confirmed the stallion has been retired.

“In the Queen Elizabeth, he came out of it and his leg wasn’t 100 per cent,” Dabernig said.

“We nursed him back and did all the rehab but it was quite clear that he wasn’t going to stand up to the pressure of racing so we decided to pull the pin.

“He was in the early stages of galloping and it became a little bit inflamed and we thought we were fighting a losing battle.”

Six-year-old Spillway raced 23 times for five wins with the highlight his Group One Australian Cup win last March when he defeated stablemate Extra Zero in a photo finish.

“I had a real soft spot for him,” Dabernig said.

“He won my first Group One.

“He’s such a lovely horse with a great temperament and a beautiful horse to do anything with.”

Dabernig formed an official partnership with Hall of Fame trainer Hayes at the beginning of last season.

Their globetrotting stable star Criterion will come out of quarantine at Werribee on Monday having spent two weeks there since returning from his unplaced run in the Hong Kong Cup.

Criterion will head to Lindsay Park at Euroa where he will be prepared for the Sydney autumn carnival and a defence of his Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick.

“It might be a similar path to how we went to the Queen Elizabeth last year,” Dabernig said.

“He’s been working at Werribee but it’s been very light.

“He’ll have a little bit of a light time at the farm, still kept working but going in the paddock during the day and on the water walker.

“It won’t take much to get him back (to peak fitness).”

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