Champion jumper Gotta Care has been retired after being eased out of the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle at Bendigo.
The reigning Australian Jumper of the Year was favourite to win the race for the fourth time on Sunday but John Allen pulled him out with four hurdles left.
Trainer Darren Weir said the 10-year-old had no physical problems but the time was right to retire him.
“We thought he’d run well today. All the signs were good but he was gone 600 metres from home and John Allen just eased him out of the race,” Weir told racing.com.
“He’s had a great career and he’s retiring as a sound horse which is really good.
“I think he’s been the most winning horse that I’ve ever trained. He’s won 20 races and over $1 million.
Weir said Gotta Take Care would have a new life as a pony with one of his staff.
The Tony Rosolini-trained Zuhayr won the Brendan Drechsler while New Zealander Sea King took out the Mosstrooper Steeplechase but favourite Bashboy failed to finish the race.
Trainer Ciaron Maher said the plan was to push on to the Crisp and Grand National Steeplechases with Bashboy who appeared OK after the race.
Sea King will also head to the Grand National in which he finished third last year behind Wells and Bashboy.
The eight-year-old is trained in New Zealand by Kevin Myers and does his Australian racing in the care of Patrick Payne.