Ashkazar ran at Cheltenham on his most recent start.  He was the winner of the same race in 2012 but had not shown much sparkle in three runs this season and David Johnson decided to retire him.  Timmy Murphy’s wife Verity has him and he is sure to enjoy a great retirement.  He will live with former Pond House stars Comply or Die, Well Chief and Vodka Bleu and enjoy hacking around the Gloucestershire countryside as well as hunting and various other activities.  He his only nine years old but he feels like a piece of the furniture having been at Pond House since he was a three year old!  He has done us and owner David Johnson proud over the years, winning on the flat in France before winning two chases and seven hurdle races.  This included the 2008 Imperial Cup and he then went on to finish second in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival three days later.  He won the Kingwell hurdle at Wincanton the following season and then won some other top hurdle races along the way and amassed nearly £200,000 in prize money.  He is a lovely laid back character, looked after by my partner Leanne since he came from France and he will be sadly missed but we know he will enjoy a fantastic retirement.