January 11, 2017 / 2:29 PM / in 7 months

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack retires

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Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse - 18/3/16 Bryan Cooper on Don Cossack celebrates winning the 3.30 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Reuters / Dylan Martinez Livepic

LONDON (Reuters) - Reigning Cheltenham Gold Cup champion Don Cossack has been retired due to a leg injury, trainer Gordon Elliott said on Wednesday.

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"I am very sad to report that Don Cossack has suffered a setback and will now be retired," Elliot wrote in a blog for betfair.com. "We found that he had a bit of heat in his leg on Monday, and we've made the decision to call time.

"He's a horse of a lifetime and he owes us nothing. I said all season that if he had any sort of setback at all we would not abuse him and we'd retire him straight away."

Nine-year-old Don Cossack, owned by Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud and trained in Ireland, won the Gold Cup in March as a 9-4 favourite with Bryan Cooper in the saddle.

The horse suffered the injury in April.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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