Vodka retires before Dubai finale

Kyodo News

Vodka, a record-tying seven-time Grade One winner, has pulled out of the Dubai World Cup and will retire earlier than planned, her trainer Katsuhiko Sumii said Sunday.

Vodka, who was set to retire after the world’s richest horse racing meet on March 27, suffered a nose bleed in placing eighth in the third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge in Dubai last Thursday.

Sumii and Vodka’s owner Yuzo Tanimizu decided on the six-year-old mare’s earlier retirement following the injury. Vodka also suffered a nose bleed during her victory in the Japan Cup last November.

“Owner Tanimizu said he doesn’t want see a pitiful horse and wants her to become a fine breeder. I feel the same way,” Sumii told a press conference at Nakayama racecourse in Chiba Prefecture.