Time called for Justa Charlie

Talented jumper Justa Charlie (NZ) (Shinko King) has been retired due to soundness concerns following his second placing in the Ken & Roger Browne Memorial Steeplechase (3900m) at Te Rapa last Saturday.

That race was the Harvey Wilson-trained gelding’s first jumps start since winning the 2018 Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m). He was then sidelined with a tendon problem and returned to competition almost two years later with a close second on the flat at Wanganui late last month.

“He came through his first-up run with no issues, but the day after Te Rapa we realised all was not well with one of his legs,” Wilson said. “It’s not a major at this stage but it would be unfair on him to carry on.

“He’s been a wonderful horse for us and the group of people who raced him. He had four wins and five seconds over hurdles and from five starts as a steeplechaser he won three and finished second in the other two.

“You couldn’t ask for much more than that, so he’s certainly earned an honourable retirement. He’ll go to one of his owner’s farms and in time it would be nice to think he could make a handy sport-horse for someone.”

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