Henry Candy paid tribute Limato after confirming the retirement of his stable stalwart.
It is six years since the Tagula gelding rounded off an unbeaten juvenile campaign with victory in the Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar, a performance his trainer hails as “absolutely extraordinary”.
The following season yielded Group Three and Group Three triumphs, before he bagged his two Group One wins in 2016 with victories in the July Cup at Newmarket and the Prix de la Foret at Chantilly.
There have been ups and downs during the subsequent four years, but Limato proved he was no back number in the summer when successfully defending his crown in Newmarket’s Criterion Stakes.
“He’s been a big part of the yard for a long time,” said the Wantage handler.
“I suppose his July Cup victory was probably the outstanding performance, but I thought his run in the Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar as a juvenile was absolutely extraordinary.”
Having finished fifth in last month’s Park Stakes at Doncaster, Candy had hoped to see his eight-year-old bow out by bidding for a third win in the Challenge Stakes on Friday, but he was ruled out due to a bruised foot.
Time has now been called on a glittering career during which Limato won 14 of his 33 starts and earned over £1.4million in win and place prize-money.
Candy, who has also trained top-class sprinters like Kyllachy, Airwave and Twilight Son, added: “Limato would have to be way up there – when everything was in his favour with the ground and everything, he was brilliant.
“He had a pretty amazing strike-rate and a fantastic turn of foot.”