Top-class colt Westover has been retired after suffering a career-ending injury when finishing second in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday.
A luckless third behind Desert Crown in last year’s Derby at Epsom, Ralph Beckett’s charge went on to gain compensation with a brilliant victory in the Irish Derby and has continued to run with distinction at the highest level as a four-year-old.
He chased home Japanese superstar Equinox in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March, filled the runner-up spot in the Coronation Cup in June and claimed his second Group One win in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud before being narrowly beaten by Hukum in a thrilling renewal of the King George at Ascot in July.
Having found only the brilliant Ace Impact too strong in Paris last weekend, owner-breeders Juddmonte had been targeting major prizes on foreign soil before the end of 2023 – but they have now had to prematurely call time on the son of Frankel’s racing career.
“It’s devastating news, unfortunately he suffered a career-ending injury on Sunday and he’ll have to be retired,” said Juddmonte’s racing manager Barry Mahon.
“Long-term he’ll be fine and he’ll be OK for a stallion career, but we had such good days with him this year and last year, we had an exciting end to the season planned and we were all very excited about it. Unfortunately it’s come to an end.
“We were looking at the Breeders’ Cup and we actually only entered him in the Japan Cup on Tuesday. We were planning on doing a bit of travelling and seeing a bit of the world with him, but unfortunately that’s not to be.”
Mahon is confident Westover will go on to enjoy a successful second career at stud, adding: “I’d say he’ll be a top-class stallion. He’s one of Frankel’s best sons and as we saw with Ace Impact (by Frankel’s son Cracksman), Frankel’s sons are off to a flying start.
“He’s been beautifully trained by Ralph, Rob Hornby has obviously built up a good association with him last year and this year and Colin Keane was exquisite on him the day he won the Irish Derby.
“It’s been a great story for a lot of people, none more so than Juddmonte. We’re very lucky to have had him.”
Beckett said in a statement: “I am very proud of the horse and what he has achieved, he gave his all every day at home and on the racecourse and we will all miss him.”