Harbinger, who became world’s highest rated runner after a stunning triumph in the July 24 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-I), has been retired from racing. The 4-year-old colt fractured a leg Aug. 7 and underwent surgery at Rossdales Equine Hospital. He raced for Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.
"It is with regret that it has been decided to retire Harbinger from racing,” said Highclere’s Harry Herbert in a release. “Thanks to the professionalism of the veterinary surgeons--Bruce Bladon of O’Gorman Slater & Main, Andrew Bathe of Rossdale & Partners, and Antony Clements of Baker & McVeigh--the operation which was undertaken at Rossdales Hospital in Newmarket has been very successful.
"We are pleased to report that thankfully the horse is recovering well," Herbert continued. "The decision to retire Harbinger is based on the welfare of the horse which is paramount to all concerned. The owners, for whom this is very sad, are naturally sorry that their great horse has had his racing career cut short.
"However, Harbinger has given all concerned the ultimate thrill at the very highest level. The highest rated horse in the world, Harbinger won six of his nine starts and is undefeated this year.
"In winning the Hardwicke Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot so impressively and then producing one of the greatest performances of all time to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes by 11 lengths in record time, Harbinger has confirmed himself as one of the all-time greats."
Harbinger bettered Generous’ record seven-length triumph and won in 2:28.78.
Harbinger (Dansili—Penang, by Bering) also won this year’s Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Eng-III) and the John Porter Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes (Eng-III). Unraced at 2, he was a group stakes winner last year.
Mrs. A.K.H. Ooi is the breeder of Harbinger, who was foaled in Great Britain.