Rooster Booster will be kept in training next year for a “selective” campaign and is set for a quick reappearance in the Freephone Stanleybet Swinton Hurdle a week on Saturday.
Philip Hobbs’s popular grey was given a rousing reception by the Sandown crowd after his victory in the Concept Hurdle last week which, at the age of 11, had prompted talk of his retirement.
Although that was his first success for over 15 months and he had not been showing quite the form that brought him the 2003 Champion Hurdle, Hobbs and owner Terry Warner decided he is so keen on the gallops that he is best suited to racing rather than becoming a pet.
“Basically, the reason not to retire him is that he is such a strong puller that he has to be ridden without a bit in work,” said Warner.
“Although he will walk with you, he’s almost too strong to ride out.
“Philip said it made sense to keep him going, and although Sandown would have been an ideal place to bow out, he’ll tell us when it is time to retire.”
Rooster Booster, who has thrived since his last run, has no specific targets in the long-term except that he will be lightly-raced and will not be tried novice chasing.
Warner added: “He won’t run as much next year and we will look at selective races, mainly to avoid the Irish!
“He’ll probably run on Saturday week first at Haydock and then come back to me for a three-month holiday.
“He came back full of himself after Sandown and is such a tough horse, but he’s getting old.
“We won’t look at chasing for him as he didn’t like it when we tried him before, and it is too late really.”