Ballydoyle’s globe-trotting star Magic Wand retired owing to hoof abscess

Horse Racing Win Bright Magic Wand
As tough as they come: Magic Wand (far side) is just held by Win Bright in last year’s Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin. Photo: HKJC

By Jon Lees

Australia: Renowned globe-trotting mare Magic Wand has been retired as a result of the hoof abscess that kept her out of last weekend’s Cox Plate in Australia.

The popular five-year-old has been one of Ballydoyle’s top earners, collecting more than £3.7 million after being campaigned in eight different countries, winning four of her 28 career starts and finishing second in seven G1 races.

Aidan O’Brien’s travelling head lad TJ Comerford revealed the news on Thursday, saying: “That’s the end of her now. She’s going to be retired; she’s going to stud. We’ll take her home and have a very, very good broodmare.

“It’s bad luck because she was going to run a good race,” added Comerford, speaking to racing.com. “If you’d seen her work with Armory the other day she worked probably as well as him. We thought she was back to her best.”

Few horses in racing history have ever been campaigned on such a global scale as the five-year-old daughter of Galileo, who has competed across four continents in a 27-race career.

As well as her native Ireland, Magic Wand has also run in Britain – where she scored at Royal Ascot as a three-year-old in 2018 – France, Australia, the USA, Dubai, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia, where she was ninth in the inaugural Saudi Cup in February.

Her biggest success came at last year’s Melbourne spring carnival when she beat New Zealand star Melody Belle to claim the G1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington. She was being prepared for a defence of her crown in that G1 contest before connections called time on her career.

“She’s a very good filly,” said Comerford. “We took her to America umpteen times, she’s been to Australia twice, Dubai last year and Saudi – she’s been everywhere.

“The highlight of her career was winning the Mackinnon last year after running in the Cox Plate [fourth] and the Melbourne Cup [tenth].

“She ran well in the Melbourne Cup and then came out four days later to win a Group 1 on ground that was probably just okay for her – she does want top of the ground.”

Although she won only four races in her four-year career, Magic Wand’s CV features a plethora of fine placed efforts in top international company, among them a pair of runner-up finishes in the last two editions of the Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park.

She was also second to Ballydoyle stablemate Magical in last year’s Irish Champion Stakes before travelling to Australia and then back home via Sha Tin, where she was second in the Hong Kong Cup.

Comerford described her recent setback as “like a person getting a corn on the sole of your foot”.

He explained: “She has got a foot abscess and it’s one of those abscesses we can’t do anything about; we’re trying to draw it out. 

“We thought if we could get the abscess out through the heel of her foot but it doesn’t seem to want to release at the moment, we do think it will burst out of her coronary band. We tried to move the shoe around to take the pressure off but it seems to have stayed the same.”

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