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Popular veteran Alcopop has been retired
06:05 AEST Mon Jan 14 2013

The racing career of Alcopop is officially over after a campaign which reaped an overdue Group One victory and a fine third on the international stage.

Trainer Jake Stephens confirmed on Sunday the eight-year-old had run his last race and would go out on a high.

Alcopop started favourite when sixth in the 2009 Melbourne Cup won by Shocking but his career was plagued by recurring leg injuries over the next couple of years.

Stephens nursed the gelding through his problems and Alcopop responded to reach new heights in the spring of 2012 as an eight-year-old, winning the Group One Mackinnon Stakes and running second to Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup and third in the Hong King Cup.

"It was going to be a long spell for him anyway. He's not getting any younger and he's nice and sound at the moment considering the problems he's had, so it's just a nice way to retire him on the back of what he's done over the spring and in Hong Kong," Stephens told racingvictoria.net.au.

"He's done so much for us that it's a fitting way for him to go out. We just want to make sure he has a nice retirement."

"I don't really want to flog him around as an older horse."

Stephens, who runs a small stable at Victor Harbour in South Australia, flagged the possibility his wife Harriet could introduce Alcopop to dressage and showjumping.

Alcopop earned almost $2 million from a career spanning 34 starts and yielding 10 wins.

Stephens still has plenty to look forward to with the recent purchase of French horse Gris Caro.

"I've sort of jumped on the bandwagon. It's kind of the fashionable thing to do at the moment isn't it!" he said.

"I was going to look at a few yearlings but the owners were keen to have a look at something different and this horse popped up.

"He's run some pretty slick times over there, I'm not sure how they do their timing but his time over 2000 metres (1:57.75) in a Listed race as a three-year-old was ridiculous considering it was on turf and on quite a tight turning track.

"I spoke to Greg Carpenter and he said that he'll probably come here with a rating around about 87 which will mean we can look to start him off in some easier races and hopefully get back some of the money straight away."