2016 Gold Cup Winner Don Cossack Retired

The Gold Cup 2016 winner and highest rated chaser of his time Don Cossack has sadly been retired.

The decision was made last night by Gigginstown House Stud who had a meeting with Gordon Elliott and Bryan Cooper to discuss the well-being of the horse. Below, Gordon spoke with Attheraces this morning and we have the clip below.


Tendon Injury

Shortly after his Gold Cup exploits last season, Don Cossack suffered a tendon injury a week prior to the Punchestown Gold Cup. It was a life-threatening injury and the fact they got the horse back in training again was a miracle in itself. He was set to run next month if all went to plan but a scan in the last few days has sadly come froth with bad news as he still has a 15% tear to his tendon.

Retirement Plans

Don Cossack will be ‘retired to the paddocks at Gigginstown’ for a ‘well deserved retirement’, according to Michael O’Leary.

He continued: ““Anita, Eddie and I would like to sincerely thank Gordon, Karen, Louise and all the team at Cullentra House for the outstanding job they did in managing Don Cossack’s career, to ultimately win the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup.”

“Gordon left no stone unturned to help Don Cossack return to defend his title but alas it is not to be. At the age of 10 we are all agreed that the best thing for “the Don” is a well-earned and very well pampered retirement in Gigginstown.”

Notable Wins

Michael O’Leary and co were so fortunate to find Don Cossack, a horse of a lifetime and he will leave some cherished memories behind for his fans and connections. He amassed 16 career victories which included 3 bumper wins, 1 hurdles victory and 12 wins over the larger obstacles.

  • 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1)
  • 2016 Kinloch Brae Chase (Grade 2)
  • 2015 Jnwine.com Champion Chase (Grade 1)
  • 2015 Irish Daily Star Chase (Grade 3)
  • 2015 Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1)
  • 2015 Aintree Melling Chase (Grade 1)
  • 2015 Kinloch Brae Chase (Grade 2)
  • 2014 John Durkan Memorial (Grade 1)
  • 2014 Powers Irish Whiskey Chase (Grade 2)
  • 2014 Star Best For Racing Coverage Chase (Grade 3)
  • 2013 Drinmore Novice Chase (Grade 1)

Highlight – 2016 Gold Cup

In what was already an illustrious career, Don Cossack just needed to win the one that mattered the most to top off a wonderful career, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Although he was the highest rated chaser in the UK & Ireland coming into the race, his course form was questionable. His two previous attempts at Prestbury Park ended in misery, falling in the RSA Chase in 2014 and he could only muster up a moderate 3rd place finish in the Ryanair Chase in 2015.

There’s no doubt he needed a slice of luck and he certainly received it in bucket full’s in 2016. Sent off the well backed 2/1 favourite for the race, in part due to the late withdrawal of Vautour, Bryan Cooper held the horse in midfield throughout the race. A mile from home he was moving through the gears and was starting to get into contention but nothing was travelling as well as Cue Card. At the third last fence, Cue Card fell to the dismay of onlookers and Don Cossack was left in front to fly up the hill and get the biggest win of all.

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