Injury forces Blackbeard into early retirement

Aidan O'Brien's exciting colt Blackbeard has been forced to retire after X-rays discovered a chip in his right knee.

The No Nay Never colt won six of his eight starts for trainer Aidan O'Brien, including successive Group One victories in the Prix Morny at Deauville and the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

O'Brien had been hoping to send the youngster to Keeneland for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, but he will not be heading to Kentucky and time has been called on his racing career.

"Blackbeard was a little off after exercise this morning in preparation for the Breeders' Cup. Unfortunately, when we had him X-rayed the radiographs showed a small chip in his right knee and a decision has been made to retire him," O'Brien said on the Coolmore website.

"He's a typical No Nay Never; strong, early maturing and very fast. He ran every month from April to September and improved and improved from one race to the next.

"The plan is for No Nay Never's other brilliant son Little Big Bear to be trained for the Guineas along with Saturday's winner Auguste Rodin, while Luxembourg also remains in training for next season."

Ryan Moore partnered Blackbeard in all but one of his races and also paid tribute, saying: "Blackbeard was a very exciting horse to ride. He was tough as nails and the ultimate professional who continued to improve throughout the season and had a lethal turn of foot."

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