CHAMPION hurdler Bashboy will not defend his Grand National Steeplechase crown in Ballarat later this year.
The Ciaron Maher-trained veteran has been retired from racing, with connections deciding it was not worth pushing on because of a Racing Australia rule that stops horses from competing once they are 13-years-old.
Bashboy is currently 12, but will turn 13 before he is able to shoot for a fourth win in the Grand National Steeplechase, which will be the headline event of a new two-day jumps carnival to be held in Ballarat during a weekend in August.
Champion jockey Ruby Walsh rode Bashboy to a memorable victory in the race last year, his 14th win in 19 starts over the obstacles.
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