Time called on Litigant career

Litigant won the November Handicap in good style

Trainer Joe Tuite has paid tribute to talented but fragile stable star Litigant after deciding to call time on his racing career.

The nine-year-old won the All-Weather Marathon at Lingfield for Seamus Durack in the spring of 2014, but did not see the racecourse again for well over a year.

He made his long-awaited return and debut for Tuite in the following year's Ebor at York and belied his lengthy absence to claim a brilliant victory at odds of 33-1.

The son of Sinndar went on to land Doncaster's November Handicap later that season before enduring another spell on the sidelines.

He raced three times towards the end of 2016, but failed to return this season and Tuite has admitted defeat in his attempts to bring his charge back to competitive action.

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"We've decided to call it a day with him. We've been struggling to get him right after he tweaked an old injury and hopefully he'll now have a long and happy retirement," said the Lambourn-based trainer.

"We had two magic days with him at York and Doncaster. The day he won the Ebor was incredible and I think that was the day he showed how good he was.

"I think those few months between York and Doncaster was when I had him at his best. I remember going into the November Handicap, George Baker had a huge amount of confidence in the horse.

"I remember him saying to me beforehand, 'I'm going to drop him out last and he won't come off the bridle'. Because it was soft ground he ended up pushing him out, but he won as he liked really.

"It's a shame we didn't have more big days with him, but we never really had a clean run with him after he won the November Handicap.

"He has a lot of ability, but unfortunately the wheels are a little bit fragile. We'll give him everything he needs to make sure he enjoys the rest of his life."

He added: "We've got to try and find another one now, which is very difficult. I have a few nice horses. They've got a way to go to get into his league, but we'll keep trying."

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