Season is over for Kingston Hill

Kingston Hill and Trainer Roger Varien

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Kingston Hill will not race in next Saturday’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot, according to his trainer Roger Varian.

The St Leger winner and Derby runner-up was last seen finishing fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp behind Treve earlier this month.

It was a performance that Varian described as “a blinder” as Kingston Hill had a nightmare wide draw in stall 20 but made it to the front of the field, before securing fourth spot on ground that was far from ideal.

The charge had been considered for the Qipco Champion Stakes on October 18 at Ascot, but Varian has deemed that a 13-day gap between the two races is not long enough for Kingston Hill.

Varian said: “Kingston Hill will not run again this season. He ran a huge race in the Arc to finish fourth from the widest of draws. He is a horse with a great constitution but we feel that this race comes just too soon after such a big effort in France.

“He has done us proud this season, winning the St Leger, finishing second in the Derby and fourth in the Arc.

“He remains in training and we are looking forward to campaigning him in the big middle distance races next year.”

The withdrawal of Kingston Hill is the second big loss for the Qipco Champion Stakes, as it follows hot on the heels of Australia’s shock retirement with a hoof injury.

Australia, the 2014 Derby winner, had five victories in eight starts but a problem developed in a right hind hoof which hindered his preparations for Champions Day at Ascot and he was ultimately retired as a result.

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