King’s charge Invictus could face retirement

Swindon Advertiser: Alan King Alan King

ALAN King’s Invictus has broken down for a second time and may never race again.

The seven-year-old returned to the track after a 21-month absence on Saturday in the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Despite a fine run in the Hennessy, Invictus faded in the home straight and finished the race slightly lame.

However, the Barbury Castle trainer revealed yesterday that the injury was more serious than first thought and that Invictus had actually broken down for a second time.

“We are monitoring the situation, but it looks like his racing career could be over,” said King.

“It is the same leg as last time, though in a different place, so, under the circumstances, he has run a magnificent race in the Hennessy.

"I feel so sorry for Richard and Lizzie (Kelvin-Hughes), who are marvellous owners, and also all the team at Barbury, who have worked so hard in getting Invictus back, but the omens do not look good. It’s all very sad.”

In contrast, King celebrated his 1,000th winner over jumps yesterday when Sego Express captured the novices hurdle at Southwell.

Meanwhile King’s Cheltenham Festival-winning jockey Charlie Huxley has decided to hang up his boots after seeing his riding opportunities dry up.

The 26-year-old, who won the four-mile National Hunt Chase on Old Benny in March 2008 as well as the Scottish Grand National on Iris de Balme a month later, feels it is the right time.

Huxley said: “I made my decision late last week but I didn’t want to let anyone know until I’d told Alan King and all the people I ride for.

“It hasn’t been an easy decision. It’s a decision that took me a long time to make, but I just felt I wasn't going forward in my career.

“I plan to work at home on my father’s farm in Shropshire for the winter. It gives me time to think about a small business I want to set up.”

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