European champion horse Little Big Bear retired from racing aged three due to injury | The Sun

European champion horse Little Big Bear retired from racing aged three due to injury | The Sun

EUROPEAN champion two-year-old Little Big Bear has been retired aged three due to injury.

A statement on Coolmore's official website said he had suffered a 'condylar fracture on the right front fetlock'.

Little Big Bear, who was owned by the Smith, Magnier, Tabor and Westerberg partnership, was a Group 1 sensation in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last August.

But nearly a year to the day since his seven-length rout, injuries have taken their toll.

Paying tribute, trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "Little Big Bear is a super horse, that’s the long and the short of it.

"Different class, different gear and matured very early for a big horse.

"He’s big, scopey, strong, clear winded and very, very fast – a class sprinter."

Little Big Bear won five of his nine races and won more than £445,000 for connections.

An out-and-out superstar at two, the only time he tasted defeat was a short-head second on debut in April last year.

After that he won at Naas before taking the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot.

Most read in Horse Racing


My NAP thrives with some give in the ground and caught the eye at Ascot


This 16-1 outsider spells danger on first run for new trainer


Unknown jockey, 16, leaves punters speechless with first ever ride


Devastated trainer 'wakes up in tears' after death of beloved horse

Successive Group victories at the Curragh followed before he flopped completely on reappearance in this year's 2000 Guineas.

Little Big Bear rebounded with a convincing win in the Group 2 Betfred Nifty Fifty Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock in May.

Sent off the 10-11 fav for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot he finished runner-up to Shaquille, who totally blew the start.

When the pair had a rematch in Newmarket's July Cup Little Big Bear was eased down by Ryan Moore and finished last, 22 lengths behind winner Shaquille.

Punters were sad to learn a career that promised even more than what he had already achieved had been cut short.

One said: "Such a shame. Serious what-could-have-been vibes."

While another wrote: "What he did in the Phoenix Stakes last year will long be remembered. Superb."


Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply.

Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare –
  • Gamble Aware –

Source: Read Full Article