Imperial Aura connections draw curtain on Cheltenham Festival winner's race career

Kim Bailey's Cheltenham Festival winner Imperial Aura and recent Doncaster winner Rocky's Treasure have both been retired from racing.

In beating Galvin in the Northern Trust Company Novices' Handicap Chase in March 2020, Imperial Aura looked set to take high rank the following season.

However, after victories in the Colin Parker at Carlisle and a Grade Two at Ascot he failed to complete in his next five races and having broken a blood vessel at Haydock last month, connections have decided to call time on his racing career.

"It is time for Imperial Aura to say goodbye to Thorndale Farm and racing," wrote Bailey on his website.

"Imperial Aura sadly broke a blood vessel when he ran at Haydock last month. It is something he did last season and although we have looked at all sorts of ways to try and help him we have not succeeded, and the last thing any of us, including his loyal band of owners wanted to do was to keep trying and putting the poor chap through stress while doing so.

"A magnificent animal who will always be fondly remembered, as any horse, who wins at the great festival of racing, the Cheltenham Festival.

"His huge potential was sadly never fully revealed, but then he enlivened the lives of all those who either owned, trained, looked after, rode or just backed him. Lauren Jack looked after him all his time here and just loved him.

"He was a giant of a horse who will now return to Ireland and live out his life away from the bright lights with Kevin Ross."

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