Star colt retires to stud following UK campaign

The hotly-tipped Star Witness failed to place in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket, dashing hopes of a win for the Australian colt on UK soil before retirement.

Following two promising efforts in the Kings Stand Stakes and Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot, Star Witness's connections were hoping to finish his career with a crowning feature win on English soil before returning to Australia to stand at Widden Stud.

The Danny O'Brien-trained colt was sensationally backed with European bookmakers and betting exchanges to start favourite.

But he wilted in the final stages of the gruelling Newmarket straight to finish 10th behind Dream Ahead, who defeated Bated Breath and Hitchens.

Jockey Steven Arnold was forced to expose Star Witness earlier than anticipated, but did not use that as an excuse for his below-par performance. Star Witness was up vying for the lead and appeared a winning chance inside the final 400m.

But he failed to sprint when pressure was applied.

"There was no speed early on," Arnold said. "He was a little bit plain today and I'm disappointed."

A dual Group One winner in Australia, Star Witness will command a service fee of $33,000 at Widden Stud this spring.

Story by AAP & The Telegraph

Photo by Slickpix, to view Slickpix website click here

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