Veteran sprinter Atomic Force has been retired after finishing at the tail of the field in the Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The injury-prone gelding has failed to fire in his last two campaigns and connections made the decision to retire the eight-year-old after he tailed right off to finish fifteen and a half lengths behind the winner Rain Affair on the weekend.
Atomic Force finished his career with eleven wins from forty-five race starts and just over $940,000 in prizemoney.
The son of Danehill Dancer produced his best results in 2011, recording a memorable three lengths victory in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Caulfield during the Autumn Racing Carnival before travelling to New Zealand to add a second Group 1 victory to his resume in the Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day in 2012 and finish an unlucky second behind Guiseppina in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham.
He failed to return to his best form after returning to Australia with his fourth place finish behind Broken in the 2012 Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley his best result in his last eight starts.
Atomic Force was the first Group 1 winner for Newcastle-based trainer Darren Smith and it was quiet clear that Smith has a special place in his heart for the horse that put him on the map.
“A sad day for the stable with the retirement of Atomic Force,” Smith said on Twitter.
“My first Group 1 winner and a horse I will always love.
“Tommy has done a marvelous job and after coming to me with numerous issues I never could have dreamed of the success he achieved.”
Smith is hopeful that a number of his younger horses, such as Caulfield Guineas hopeful Open Book, can step-up and claim the mantle of his stable’s star performer.