Winning Rupert’s brilliant but brief racing career is over, with the speedy three-year-old colt retired to stud.
The Bjorn Baker-trained Winning Rupert will stand at Newgate Farm after injury brought an early end to his career which boasted five wins from six starts.
“I haven’t had a horse as fast as Winning Rupert and I was really looking forward to getting him back in the spring,” Baker told Melbourne radio station RSN927.
In addition to the almost $580,000 Winning Rupert won in prize money, he also collected a $500,000 bonus for winning the Queensland three-year-old triple crown.
He was odds-on favourite to win the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Classic on January 14 but couldn’t produce his best over 1400m and finished fourth.
A subsequent X-ray revealed the colt would require surgery to remove bone chips.
“He probably had a little bit more going on when he had the knee surgery than we thought,” Baker said.
“He had more than the one chip. He had a couple of chips there.”
Baker said while he was disappointed to lose Winning Rupert, there was always a risk in bringing the valuable colt back from injury.
“It’s hard to think that if he came back and he was sound he wouldn’t have gone to the top level,” Baker said.
Winning Rupert won the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doomben as a two-year-old and won the Group Three Vo Rouge Plate at Eagle Farm on New Year’s Eve to complete a trio of wins where he ran blistering times.