Newgate Farm has announced the immediate retirement of Foxwedge which will see the three year old take up stud duties this year, cancelling a trip to England to compete at Royal Ascot in June.
Foxwegde had his first serious hit out in over a month in a barrier trial at Rosehill last Friday and was due to leave Australia this week to prepare for the Group 1 £350,000 The King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot on June 19.
Even though trainer John O’Shea was happy his second in the 900m trial, he informed connections that he was not one hundred per cent happy with his recovery.
“John was satisfied with the trial, but is not confident that the horse is one hundred per cent coming out of it so we have taken the decision to retire him immediately,” said Henry Field of Newgate Farm.
The lightly raced Fastnet Rock colt scored his first Group 1 win defeating Hay List in the $400,000 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 23 but then failed to beat a runner home when sixth to Master Of Design in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick on April 14.
A post race examination of the three year old discovered mucus in his throat and was subsequently treated for a respiratory problem.
Foxwedge had come through a couple of gruelling months and in consultation the O’Shea, Field made the decision to prepare him for his first season at stud at Newgate Farm at a fee of $33,000.
“Foxwedge has been up for a long time having had a busy spring carnival before a short spell and has been in continuous work since mid-December competing against the best sprinters in the country,” Field said.
“He was treated for several weeks for a respiratory condition and as a result has been playing catch up ever since.”
“We feel it is in the best interests of the horse to retire him now, so that he can commence his first season at stud feeling good and at the top of his game.”
The O’Shea stable will not be left without a star performer with the departure of Foxwedge, with three year old filly Sea Siren taking all before her in Brisbane.
Sea Siren made it two Group 1s on the trot taking out the $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday two weeks after winning the $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) also at Doomben.
And the Fastnet Rock filly is aiming to add another Group 1 to her impressive record when she lines up in the $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9.
Sea Siren created history when she became the first filly to win the Doomben 10,000, also racking up evergreen jockey Jim Cassidy’s ninety-fourth Group 1 win.