Belardo retired to stud

Belardo has been retired after being ruled out of Saturday's Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot due to a setback.

Belardo (right) winning the Lockinge Stakes

The 2014 champion juvenile endured a largely disappointing three-year-old campaign, but has bounced back this season with victories in the Doncaster Mile and the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

Roger Varian's charge has not been seen in competitive action since being narrowly denied by Tepin in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and connections had been looking forward to an appearance on Champions Day, but time has now been called on his career.

"The timing of this setback is very unfortunate and I am disappointed for both Prince Faisal and Sheikh Mohammed (owners) that Belardo will not be able to run at Ascot on Saturday," the trainer told his website www.varianstable.com.

"The horse had been working exceptionally well in the build up to this race.

"However, he was not 100 percent following his last piece of work and we now do not have sufficient time to get him to the QEII. As such, connections have taken the decision to retire him.

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"Belardo has been a magnificent horse to train, winning Group One races at two and four as well as being crowned European champion juvenile. His victories in the Dewhurst Stakes and Lockinge Stakes were special moments in my career and those wins will live long in the memory.

"The horse has been a pleasure to have around the yard and I am sure he will make a successful stallion as he embarks on the next stage of his career."

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