Auroras Encore, the 2013 Grand National winner, has been retired at the age of 12 following an announcement by trainer Sue Smith that he suffered a fracture when racing at Doncaster on Saturday.
The Yorkshire stable star underwent surgery yesterday afternoon when the injury was diagnosed after his 47th and final racecourse appearance in the Sky Bet Chase last Saturday.
Despite the very heavy going Auroras Encore had jumped superbly for jockey Ryan Mania before seeming to tire in the home straight.
As he was cooling down it became clear that he was suffering from lameness and had sustained a leg injury which required an operation to pin together a fracture to his off fore.
Speaking of the unfortunate incident, Sue Smith told the Racing Post: “These things happen. I just want him home to have a happy retirement.
“He has had an operation to a repair a fracture. They got him up successfully after the surgery and he was staying overnight in the operating box. Fingers crossed it’s still early days.
“He won a National for us. It doesn’t get bigger than that. He doesn’t owe us anything. This is a racing injury and I’m afraid that it is what you have to expect from the job on occasion.
“We have to expect these things and that’s all there is to it. I just want him back to his retirement.”
A shrewd £9,000 purchase by the trainer, Smith had nurtured him for the best part of a decade all the way through to a staggering victory in the 2013 Grand National, the first Yorkshire-trained horse to win the National since Middleham trainer Neville Crump’s Merryman II prevailed in 1960.