Willie Mullins’ former star mare Laurina is retired

Paul Nicholls confirms Cheltenham winner’s racing days are over after poor run at Ascot

Paul Nicholls has confirmed the retirment of Laurina. Photograp: Alan Crowhurst/PA

High-class mare Laurina has been retired after disappointing on her first start for Paul Nicholls at Ascot on Saturday.

The daughter of Spanish Moon went unbeaten in her first six outings for Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins — a run which include an 18-length demolition job in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.

Her winning streak came to an end when fourth in the following year’s Champion Hurdle and while she made a successful chasing bow at Gowran Park 12 months ago, she was pulled up on her next two starts, and could finish only third on her return to hurdles in February.

Laurina was the 11-8 favourite to bounce back on her debut for Nicholls in the Coral Hurdle, but finished last of the three runners, after which it emerged that, not for the first time, she had broken blood vessels.

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The Ditcheat handler took to Twitter on Tuesday to confirm her racing days were over, posting: “After discussions over the weekend it has been decided that after she bled again on Saturday, to retire wonderful racemare Laurina.

“Her next appearance will be at the Tattersalls Ireland breeding sale on December 14th.”