Time to say au revoir to one of the string

Regular readers may recall Bert posting that I would be making periodic contributions to his blog. I€™m writing now with an update regarding a filly called Etoile Argentee who Bert claimed out of a race at St Cloud as a three year old last May. Sadly, it will be the last update as she is being retired without ever reaching the track in the UK.

We had a shortlist of three horses that were of interest in the claiming race in question. We had a French bloodstock agent at the track and he felt Etoile Argentee€™s running on third over a mile (rated 73 by the Racing Post)) was encouraging and that she had scope to progress. Bred for stamina and half sister to Asador, a useful hurdler for Paul Nicholls, the hope was that she would stay 12 furlongs on the flat and be a candidate for hurdling at four.

However, hopes were moderated as soon as she reached Tom Dascombe€™s Lambourn yard. He rang on the morning of her arrival to say that she had an annular ligament problem which he assessed to be long standing rather than related to her St Cloud exertions. As a result, she had to be treated with kid gloves and brought along very slowly. However, as soon as she entered more serious work she developed a tendon problem related to the initial issue.

A subsequent operation by top vet Ian Wright in Newmarket offered some hope, though no certainty of a solution to her problems, but recent scans suggest she won€™t be able to cope with racing .

The plan now is for her to go the Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre (www.beaufortembryotransfer.com ) to act as a surrogate mare. She€™s assured of good care there but it is disappointing nonetheless to have had to call it a day.

So, this ownership lark isn€™t all Group winners and popping champagne corks !