Cheltenham winner Balthazar King has been retired

He suffered life-threatening injuries after falling in the Aintree race 12 months ago

Richard Johnson with Balthazar King in the winners enclosure after victory in the Glenfarclas Handicap Steeplechase at Cheltenham Racecourse in 2012. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Richard Johnson with Balthazar King in the winners enclosure after victory in the Glenfarclas Handicap Steeplechase at Cheltenham Racecourse in 2012. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

 

Dual Cheltenham Festival winner and Grand National runner-up Balthazar King has been retired.

The Philip Hobbs-trained veteran landed the Glenfarclas Chase over Cheltenham’s cross-country course in 2012 and 2014.

He was runner-up to Pineau De Re in the 2014 Grand National, but suffered life-threatening injuries after falling in the Aintree race 12 months ago.

Balthazar King eventually returned to full health and made his comeback at Cheltenham last month, only to come to grief once more.

Hobbs told the Morning Line: “Where he broke his ribs he had that little dip and he was actually a bit worse after Cheltenham because the muscles around it wasted away a bit.

“He probably needs another year but by then he would be 13.”

Balthazar King retires having won 16 times from 47 starts and earned almost £500,000 in win and place prize-money.

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