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Dodging Bullets retired by Paul Nicholls after Grand Annual run
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Dodging Bullets retired by Paul Nicholls after Grand Annual run
on 18 March 2017
"He has been a legend. He came back safe and sound with his ears pricked, which was the main thing"

PAUL Nicholls has described former Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets as a "legend" following his retirement from racing.

A decision was made by connections to retire the nine-year-old, who was bred by Frankie Dettori, after he was pulled-up in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday.

Although winning his first three starts over fences, including a brace at Grade 2 level, it was in his second season chasing in 2014-2015 that the former Andrew Oliver-trained gelding enjoyed his finest moments.

Despite meeting with defeat on his comeback, Dodging Bullets rattled up victories in the Tingle Creek and Clarence House, beating Sprinter Sacre, before handing the 10-time champion trainer his fifth success in the two-mile Grade 1 prize at Prestbury Park.

Nicholls said: "Dodging Bullets was retired after his run on Friday. It was the right thing to do as we didn't want to see him just running down the field as he has been a legend. He came back safe and sound with his ears pricked, which was the main thing.

"It was amazing he got to that pinnacle, he never really progressed after that and some horses do that. We all had such a journey with him, I could not have asked for him to do any more.

"The season before he won the Champion Chase he ran some nice races and did well but then he won the Tingle Creek, Clarence House and Champion Chase and that was brilliant. He has been a great horse to all concerned and they have been great owners (Martin Broughton and Friends) that had him."

Although Dodging Bullets' days on the race track may now be over, the Ditcheat handler expects the public to continue to see plenty of him in his next chapter of his career.

Nicholls added: "Lucy Sharp, who works at the yard, has always looked after him and will take him home. I am sure he will do all the retraining of racehorse things and go hunting and do some cross country and get pampered.

"I am sure we will see a lot of him and there will probably be plenty of pictures of him on social media in his next chapter of life for him."

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