‘Different class’ Little Big Bear retired following injury

By Sports Desk August 09, 2023

Aidan O’Brien’s multiple Group winner Little Big Bear has been retired due to injury.

The son of No Nay Never was the champion two-year-old in Europe last year, winning a string of races that included the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot, the Anglesey Stakes and the Phoenix Stakes – the latter a Group One he took by seven lengths.

He did not run again as a juvenile, and as a three-year-old his 2000 Guineas bid did not go to plan, but he was victorious again when dropped in drip for the Sandy Lane and was then beaten only by Shaquille when second in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot.

His final run came in the July Cup, where Shaquille was the winner but Little Big Bear finished last of all when eased up by Ryan Moore having been hampered two furlongs out.

A late setback meant he missed last weekend’s Prix Maurice de Gheest, and the discovery of a condylar fracture on the right-front fetlock now means he will not race again.

O’Brien said via the website of owners Coolmore: “Little Big Bear is a super horse; that’s the long and the short of it.

“Different class, different gear and matured very early for a big horse.

“He’s big, scopey, strong, clear winded and very, very fast – a class sprinter.”

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