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Flightline retired following Breeders' Cup Classic romp

Last updated: 08 Nov 2022
Jon Vine 08 Nov 2022
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  • Flightline has been retired to Lane's End Farm Stud
  • John Sadler's star ended his unbeaten career with a stunning victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland
  • A 2.5% share in Flightline sold for $4.5m this weekend
  • Epicenter and Domestic Spending are both recovering after suffering injuries at the Breeders' Cup
Jockey Flavien Prat rides Flightline to win the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic during the 2022 Breeders' Cup. (Getty)

Flightline was officially retired to stud at Lane's End Farm on Sunday, following his stunning victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

John Sadler's star went into that lucrative contest defending an unbeaten record. Flightline had powered to an incredible 20-length victory in the Pacific Classic on his final prep-run for the Breeders' Cup, drawing comparison's with US racing greats like American Pharoah and Secretariat.

As expected, Life Is Good went forward from the gates, with Flightline tracking the leader's every move. The early pace seemed suicidal, and the rest of the field allowed the leaders to flash along, expecting them to fall back to the field. Life Is Good did just that, eventually finishing fourth. Flightline, however, showed no signs of wilting.

Flavien's Pratt's mount took over the leader rounding the bend and took off. Flightline surged down the home straight at Keeneland, beating runner-up Olympian by eight-and-a-quarter lengths eased down.

That victory left the racing world wanting more. Possible outings in the Pegasus World Cup and the Saudi Cup had been discussed. Sadly, the lure of a combined $13m in winners' purses was not enough to persuade Sadler to keep his star in training and Flightline was immediately retired to stud.

"We would like to thank trainer John Sadler and his team for the incredible work they did with Flightline," said Bill Farish, head of Lane's End Farm Stud. "His historic performances are a credit to their expertise and unwavering efforts to bring out the very best in the horse."

Some may call it lunacy to pass up on two hugely lucrative prizes, which Flightline would surely have won. Yet, Flightline will surely command an astronomical stud fee and one of the busiest first books in the world.

Sadler's decision was justified further at the weekend when a 2.5% in Flightline's stud career sold for a $4.5m - valuing the horse at an incredible $180m.

A sad post-script to Flightline's incredible triumph in the Breeders' Cup Classic was the injuries suffered by Epicenter and Domestic Spending. Epicenter underwent surgery on his injured leg on Sunday and veterinary staff said the procedure went smoothly. Domestic Spending is also in a stable condition after suffering a pelvic fracture.

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