(Photo : Racing Diary)


Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Harbinger (GB) (Dansili - Penang Pearl, by Bering) has been retired, it was announced Monday. Despite successful surgery on his fractured near-fore cannon bone over the weekend, connections of the 11-length King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes Gr1 winner have called time on his career.

In a statement issued on behalf of the Admiral Rous Syndicate, Racing Manager Harry Herbert said, “It is with regret that it has been decided to retire Harbinger from racing. Thanks to the professionalism of the veterinary surgeons Bruce Bladon of O’Gorman Slater and Main, Andrew Bathe of Rossdale and Partners and Antony Clements of Baker and McVeigh, the operation which was undertaken at Rossdales Hospital in Newmarket has been very successful. We are pleased to report that, thankfully, the horse is recovering well. The decision to retire Harbinger is based on the welfare of the horse, which is paramount to all concerned. The owners, for whom this is very sad, are naturally sorry that their great horse has had his racing career cut short. However, Harbinger has given all concerned the ultimate thrill at the very highest level.”

Prior to his emphatic success at Ascot, which places him at the top of the world rankings at present, Harbinger had recorded four wins at group level. They came in the 2009 Gordon Stakes Gr3 at Goodwood and this term’s John Porter Stakes Gr3, Ormonde Stakes Gr3 and Hardwicke Stkes Gr2. The latter performance, which signaled the four-year-old’s arrival in the major league, set him up for a tilt at the King George, and Herbert singled the latter two runs out yesterday.

“The highest-rated horse in the world, Harbinger won six of his nine starts and is undefeated this year,” Herbert added. “In winning the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot so impressively and then producing one of the greatest performances of all time to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes by 11 lengths in record time, Harbinger has confirmed himself as one of the all time greats.”

In total, Harbinger was the winner of six of his nine starts and over GBP770,000 in prize money.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News