/ Racing

Bolger star Teofilo is retired

Updated: Friday, 03 Aug 2007 10:41

Teofilo demonstrated his superiority to Holy Roman Emperor as a two-year-old but the pair never clashed at three
Teofilo demonstrated his superiority to Holy Roman Emperor as a two-year-old but the pair never clashed at three

Teofilo, last year's champion two-year-old and former ante-post favourite for the 2000 Guineas and Derby, has been retired from racing.

Jim Bolger's son of Galileo charged through his juvenile career winning all five of his starts, which included the National Stakes and the Dewhurst.

However, he suffered a tendon problem shortly before the Stan James-sponsored Guineas this spring and was ruled out of the Newmarket showpiece just 48 hours before it took place.

Bolger had hoped to bring the colt back for a late-season campaign but he has finally been retired.

In a statement released yesterday evening, Bolger said: 'Following an unsatisfactory scan it has been decided to retire Teofilo from racing with immediate effect.

'Jackie and Jim Bolger would like to thank their staff who have worked tirelessly with great dedication, making every effort to return Teofilo to the racecourse.

'They would also like to thank the many well-wishers who have taken such an interest in the past year.

'They are most grateful to the sponsors of every prestigious race Teofilo won in his short but spectacular career, in which he was unbeaten and secured the coveted title of Champion European Two-Year-Old.'

Teofilo was given glowing references by the European board of handicappers, with one describing him as 'a monster'.

The colt was rated top of the European Two-Year-Old Thoroughbred Rankings on 123, just 1lb ahead of his great rival Holy Roman Emperor.

Teofilo beat Aidan O'Brien's representative both times they met, by one and a quarter lengths in the National Stakes and by a head in a vintage Dewhurst at Newmarket.

Speaking at the unveiling of the World Thoroughbred Rankings in London in January, Irish racing's senior Flat handicapper Garry O'Gorman said: 'He always struck me as an embryo three-year-old type and I think the horse will be a monster.

'I thought Holy Roman Emperor was up there with Aidan O'Brien's best two-year-olds of recent years like Johannesburg and Fasliyev. I don't think he showed his best in the National Stakes, although he was beaten fair and square in the Dewhurst.

'In the Dewhurst, and on several other occasions, Teofilo was a sitting duck out in front and when he was challenged, he pulled out more.

'Teofilo may have more in the tank - he has such scope and when I think of horses that have excited me as much, I would have to look back as far as Hawk Wing. The sky is the limit.'

But the eagerly-awaited third clash between the pair was never to happen. Holy Roman Emperor was retired to stud in March before setting foot on a racecourse as a three-year-old, while worries about Teofilo's Classic participation first surfaced in April when he drifted alarmingly on the betting exchanges, with a number of leading High Street bookmakers suspending their ante-post markets.

Bolger issued a statement the following day saying Teofilo had suffered a 'training setback' but remained on target for the Guineas.

Sadly he was not to get there, or to the Derby, and the racing world can only wonder what might have been had he clashed with the likes of Cockney Rebel or Authorized.

Bolger has previously stated that one of Teofilo's first assignments as a stallion will be to get his star three-year-old filly Finsceal Beo's in foal.