LEGENDARY Irish Thoroughbred Hurricane Fly has been retired from racing after 10 glorious seasons in the sport, his trainer Willie Mullins has confirmed.
Twice a winner of the Champion Hurdle (2011 and 2013), the 11-year-old won 24 of his 32 races over hurdles, 22 of which were won at Grade One level, a world record in racing.
Hurricane Fly amassed over €2.5million in prize money for his connections, and countless more for punters, while he retires unbeaten at Leopardstown, where he made 10 starts at Grade One level.
Today marks the end of an era for my team and me. #HurricaneFly has been retired. He was a horse of a lifetime and a privilege to train
— Willie Mullins (@WillieMullinsNH) August 31, 2015
The son of Montjeu, he was bred in Ireland having been foaled and raised at the Irish National Stud, and it wasn’t long before he was creating headlines for his prowess over hurdles.
Indeed, Hurricane Fly won on his debut at Punchestown in May 2008 and won the first of his 22 Grade One wins in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse just six months later.
Trainer Mullins, a Kilkenny native, said Hurricane Fly will get the send off from the sport that he deserves at upcoming events.
He said: “He's come back into training and he's really well in himself, but having had a chat with the owners, they were keen enough to retire him while he is still in great order.
“He's a horse who has everything - speed and stamina and an incredible bravery and aggressiveness. I think those are the key factors.
"He's going to the Curragh to parade on Irish Champions Weekend and he's also going to Merano in Italy to parade there at their big Gold Cup meeting in September.
"He's also just been invited to go to the big meeting at Milan in October.”
Tributes have already been pouring in from racing fans on Twitter, and we’ve picked out the best of the bunch below.
— Big Race Preview (@BigRacePreview) August 31, 2015
@WillieMullinsNH how was he 7/2 for his 1st champion hurdle? Filled my boots. Top horse. Trainer not too bad either!
— Pat Cosgrave (@pat_cosgrave) August 31, 2015
— MuckleRuth (@watchitlad) August 31, 2015
— Serenity Seeker (@ianperkins69) August 31, 2015
— BIRDIE (@DarrenBirdie) August 31, 2015
Hurricane Fly retired. An unbelievable horse, who's cost us serious money over the years. Happy retirement!
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) August 31, 2015
— jane Wills (Jones) (@JaneJwills) August 31, 2015
— PG (@puntersg) August 31, 2015