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A minor ligament injury has forced the early retirement of one-time leading Melbourne Cup contender Tarzino.

The decision to retire last season’s Victoria Derby and Rosehill Guineas winner was made after a scintigraphy scan last week following his scratching from the Caulfield Cup with a sesamoid problem.

Anthony Mithen, proprietor of Rosemont Stud, a 30 per cent owner in the four-year-old, said the injury was found to be a midrange, long term problem which the four-year-old could possibly have carried throughout his recent campaign.

He said Tarzino could have spent six months undergoing rehabilitation.

Tarzino will be given the opportunity to let down before beginning stallion duties next breeding season, possibly in New Zealand where his own sire Tavistock stands.

Mithen has been in discussions with a number of studs.

He said when Rosemont invested in hte Mick Price-trained Tarzino before his narrow second in the Australian Guineas last autumn they immediately thought he had a future home in Victoria.

But with Tarzino’s Group One victories coming over 2000m in the Rosehill Guineas and over 2500m in last year’s Derby, Mithen feels the four-year-old may be better suited standing at stud in New Zealand.

“You need to place these middle distance horses to maximise their best chances at stud,” Mithen said.

“That may very well be with us, but it may also be with a New Zealand farm.

“There’s been some considerable interest from respectable, top end operations over there.

“We’re assessing all the options and hopefully we’ll have a stud sorted out in a month.

“It can end up being well executed plan of him heading to stud rather than rushing straight off the track and getting him familiar with the inside of a covering shed.”

Mithen says Rosemont already has eight mares at stud in New Zealand and has shares in three stallions.

They race horses with trainers Stephen Marsh and Donna Logan while also selling at the New Zealand yearling sales.

He said if Tarzino was to stand at stud in New Zealand he doesn’t want to be seen as turning his back on the Victorian breeding industry.

“I’m sure there would be breeders that would support him in Victoria whereas the majority of breeders in New Zealand would love to send a mare to the best son of Tavistock with an excellent female pedigree behind him,” Mithen said.

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