LAST year’s European champion two-year-old Little Big Bear has been retired from racing after suffering a condylar fracture on the right front fetlock.

The son of No Nay Never earned a Timeform Rating of 126p, 5lb clear of all his rivals, for his seven-length rout in the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. That victory was the culmination of four straight wins including the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes.

After pulling too hard in the 2000 Guineas in May, Little Big Bear was dropped back to six furlongs for the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock and ran out a comfortable winner. His next start in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot saw him run a fine second just headed close home by subsequent July Cup winner Shaquille.

He was supplemented to run in last Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville but had to be taken out at the final declaration stage due to injury.

“Little Big Bear is a super horse; that’s the long and the short of it,” said his trainer Aidan O’Brien. “Different class, different gear and matured very early for a big horse. He’s big, scopey, strong, clear winded and very, very fast – a class sprinter.”

Bred by Tim Hyde senior and junior of Camas Park Stud & Summerhill, Little Big Bear realised €320,000 as a yearling at Arqana.

Out of Longchamp listed winner Adventure Seeker, Little Big Bear traces to the brilliant All Along who notched up a tremendous sequence of victories in top races on both sides of the Atlantic.