Newcastle horseman Kris Lees on Friday announced the retirement of multiple Group 1 winner Thump who will kick off a new career as a broodmare later in the year.
The Cressfield-owned five-year-old daughter of Red Ransom bows out of racing having won four of her 22 career starts for $504,500 in prize money.
Her swansong race was at Grafton on July 8 when failing to beat home any of her rivals to cross 10 and a half lengths away 16th behind Rock Royalty in the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) during the XXXX July Racing Carnival.
There were excuses that day, but connections of Thump have opted not to press onto the spring and instead made the decision to retire the honest bay.
“She was pole-axed about 200m after the start and was put off balance,” Lees told Racing and Sports.
“She never really travelled after that.
“We have decided to retire her. I think her owners are looking to send her to Fastnet Rock in the new season.”
Thump’s last win was in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick in mid-February first-up when returning off a six month spell.
Her other notable turf triumphs include the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) in March of 2014, the 2013 Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley and the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) two years ago.
While the loss of Thump is a notable one for Lees and his Broadmeadow stable, there are still plenty of Spring-bound stars progressing well towards major new season targets.
The trainer made a special mention of both last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist and dual Group 1 winning mare Lucia Valentina when discussing Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival plans.
“They are both well and going along nicely,” he said.
“At this stage they are still a few weeks away from being ready to trial.”
Former German stayer Protectionist is a rising six-year-old Monson stallion who hasn’t won down under since his $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) triumph over the two miles at Flemington last November.
His autumn was mediocre and included three unplaced Group 1 runs, the latest of which was when beaten 16 lengths by Chris Waller’s upset winner Grand Marshall in the Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 11 during The Championships.
He will again progress towards a run in the world’s richest handicap on November 3, Protectionist looking to secure back-to-back Melbourne Cup wins for the first time since the mighty Makybe Diva secured three on the trot from 2003-05.
Savabeel mare Lucia Valentina also had her last start on Sydney Cup Day when sixth behind Criterion in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Her better runs leading up to that included a Ranvet Stakes third behind Contributer and during last year’s Spring, a third in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) behind the ill-fated Admire Rakti, which followed her half-length victory over Lidari in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Lees is likely to target similar features with the five-year-old this time in, the $500,000 Turnbull Stakes taking place at Flemington on October 4.
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