Gallant old 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient has been retired from racing today due to an old leg injury returning.
The always popular Lloyd Williams-owned grey is best known for their victory in the ‘race that stops a nation’ back in the spring of 2007 when the famous Melbourne Cup was worth half of its current $6.2 million prize money.
Now nine-years-old the son of Zabeel out of Defensive Play mare Refused The Dance had soundness issues over their entire career racing just 29 times for seven wins and a single minor placing.
Their other big turf triumphs were the 2006 Victoria Derby, Efficient the first horse since the legendary Phar Lap to win the Derby and then the following year’s Melbourne Cup, and the 2009 Turnbull Stakes, the latter of which was their sole victory after their Melbourne Cup glory.
Efficient showed they still had the potential to run a good race during the autumn this April when they came within a half-length of Niwot in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick.
They had one run this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival when 10th to Southern Speed in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and were to jump the 68kg topweight in this year’s $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) on Epsom Handicap Day in Sydney.
However their persistent leg problems fired up again with Efficient pulling up sore after their morning workout today prompting connections to make the decision to retire the likely future clerk of the course horse immediately.
“Efficient has been retired after suffering a leg injury this morning,” Lloyd Williams’ son and fellow owner Nick Williams announced on Twitter on Thursday morning.
Despite being first past the post on just seven occasions Efficient managed to amass a tidy $4,788,525 in prize money and was jockey Michael Rodd’s, aboard for their Melbourne Cup victory and more recently their Sydney Cup second, favourite mounts.
“He really put me on the scene when he won the Victoria Derby as I’d only been based in Melbourne for about two months,” Rodd said.
“Then of course 12 months later he gave me every jockey’s dream when we won the Melbourne Cup so he’s been a big part of what I’ve been able to achieve since coming to Melbourne.
“It’s such a shame that he was so prone to injury as silly as it might sound for a nine-year-old, he was untapped as a stayer. His record at 2000 metres and above was extraordinary.”
While the injury-prone Efficient may be out of action Williams and trainer Robert Hickmott still have a strong hand in the majors this weekend with Midas Touch to run in The Metropolitan at Royal Randwick, while in Melbourne they have Caulfield Cup fancy Green Moon racing in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
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