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Injured Amnesty retired

CHARLES BYRNES has confirmed his dual Cheltenham Festival hero Weapon's Amnesty has been retired from racing after suffering another injury.

Winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the 2009 Festival, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned chestnut returned to Prestbury Park 12 months later to run out a hugely impressive winner of the RSA Chase, beating the Nicky Henderson-trained pair of Burton Port and Long Run.

However, he then spent over two and a half years on the sidelines with injury and when he did eventually return to competitive action in last month's Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown, he was pulled up.

The 10-year-old has now suffered a further setback and connections feel it is the right time to call it a day.

Byrnes said: "He's got another slight injury unfortunately, it's not the old injury. It hasn't been straightforward getting him back. He takes a lot of work to get fit and it was always going to be a bit iffy. It's a shame as the formbook tells you he could have gone right to the top."

Yesterday the curtain also came down on another distinguished career as Colm Murphy called time on the racing life of Voler La Vedette.

A winner of 13 of her 27 starts, 10 of which were at Listed or Stakes level including the Hatton's Grace Hurdle and Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle, she now returns to her owner and breeder Margaret Brophy.


Voler La Vedette produced perhaps her best and most memorable performance in defeat, when creeping alongside Big Buck's at the final flight of last March's Ladbrokes World Hurdle and almost upsetting the supreme stayer before finishing just under two lengths behind.

There was an ominous start to this season for the nine-year-old when she was beaten at odds of 1/7 on her comeback at Navan and she was a distant fifth on what was to be her final start in the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle on December 28. She has been phenomenal for us and she is a very, very valuable broodmare now," said Murphy.

"We've had some great days with her. It was a shame she couldn't build on last year but she has gone back to her owner's place now and she'll be really missed by us."