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Ed Walker's Starman retires after setback forces him out of Champions Day at Ascot

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Top sprinter Starman has been retired to stud and will therefore miss this weekend’s Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.

The Ed Walker-trained four-year-old has suffered a setback in his preparations for Champions Day and will miss the Group 1 showdown.

Starman won five of his eight starts, with earnings of over £476,000 in prize-money, and retires as the highest-rated sprinter.

(No 10) Starman (Tom Marquand) wins The Darley July Cup Stakes..Photo © Hugh Routledge
(No 10) Starman (Tom Marquand) wins The Darley July Cup Stakes..Photo © Hugh Routledge

His biggest day came in July, when he beat Dragon Symbol to land the Group 1 Darley July Cup Stakes at Newmarket.

Jockey Tom Marquand, who had seven rides with Starman, was quick to praise the horse after the announcement.

He said: “What an honour it was to partner Starman on his biggest day when winning the July Cup.

“A huge thanks to David and Sue Ward for being an absolute dream to ride for, and of course the whole team at Ed Walker Racing for managing his career so well.”

His debut came in July 2020 and won his first three races, including a race at Doncaster when he broke the track record.

Starman’s first appearance of this year came in the Duke of York Stakes at York in May and this was followed up with Walker’s first Group 1 win as a trainer in the July Cup.

His penultimate race saw him finish third in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

Starman will now head to Tally Ho Stud in Ireland and his last appearance came last month, when he was second to Emaraaty Ana in the Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes at Haydock.

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