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'We'd tried everything': Laurina retired after Ascot disappointment

Paul Nicholls has announced the retirement of Laurina after the star mare bled following her disappointing debut for her new yard in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday. 

Laurina joined Nicholls this summer following a fine tenure with Willie Mullins, during which she won seven races including a Grade 1 and an easy success in the mares' novice hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Nicholls said: "It was a fairly easy decision to make after Saturday. I chatted to Jared [Sullivan, owner] over the weekend and it was the only thing to do really. She obviously had issues last season and no stone was left unturned to get her right.

"I thought she would run alright on Saturday but she bled after the race. We knew she bled quite a bit last season and she'd pulled up at Leopardstown and Sandown last season. At that point it was either going to go one way or the other."

Sent off the 11-8 favourite at Ascot, Laurina was never travelling under Harry Cobden and eventually finished 46 lengths behind the winner Song For Someone.

"There were no excuses on Saturday because we'd tried everything to get her in good shape for the run and for her to bleed was disappointing," Nicholls added.

"She's been such a super mare for Jared and for Willie and it was the only sensible thing to do. She should make up into a nice broodmare and there should be some nice Laurina foals to look forward to."

Laurina will now go to the Tattersalls Ireland sale on December 14, when she will be consigned by Ballincurrig House Stud.

Initially trained by Guillaume Macaire in France, she joined Mullins before the 2017-18 season and won her first six races for him, including the Grade 1 Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse when 2-11 favourite.

She was 5-2 second favourite for the 2019 Champion Hurdle but disappointed in fourth behind Espoir D'Allen, and despite beating Minella Indo by eight lengths on her chasing debut last season, she failed to reach those lofty heights in her final four starts.

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