Ed Dunlop has admitted that retirement is under consideration for his 2015 Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris.
After winning the big race at Royal Ascot that year, the chestnut gelding ran at Goodwood and York before embarking on an international campaign, running second to Mongolian Khan in the Caulfield Cup before finishing an excellent fourth to Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup in November 2015.
However, he sustained an injury in the Japan Cup later that month and has failed to shine since then on the racecourse.
The six-year-old led a parade of horses at an open day at Dunlop’s La Grange Stables in Newmarket on Sunday but despite having returned from Dubai in fine physical order, the trainer fears the 2015 Royal Ascot hero, who also finished second in a Caulfield Cup and fourth in a Melbourne Cup, may be losing his appetite for racing.
Dunlop, who is also a part-owner of Trip To Paris, plans to give the horse a chance to redeem himself in a lower grade but told the Racing Post that he will not force him to continue any longer than he wants to.
“He’s been great, great fun for so many people but if he’s not in love with it and it’s not doing him any good, we don’t want to see him carrying on,” said Dunlop.
“He still appears enthusiastic at home and he’s moving very well but he blatantly showed no interest in Dubai. He got very far back on soft ground but he didn’t pick the bridle up at all.
“He has come back from Dubai and you wouldn’t think he’d had a race, so we’ll drop him in class and see what happens. He’s won a Gold Cup, so he doesn’t need to do any more for us.”