Trainer Anthony McCann has announced that Dundalk legend Togoville is to retire, REPORTS IRISH RACING SERVICES
The remarkable 11-year-old son of Verglas holds the record for the most wins on the all-weather track with 14 of his 16 career victories coming at Dundalk.
Those wins included a hat trick of victories during a two week spell in mid-February of this year.
Togoville, bought as a yearling by Armagh businessman Patrick McCann, won twice for trainer Pat Martin (Laytown and Roscommon) in the summer of 2014 before launching the Irish career of former Greek jockey Georgios Pakidis when changing stables in December 2014.
Togoville won seven races at Dundalk when in the care of Pakidis.
Anthony McCann took charge of Togoville in late 2017 and won a further seven races on the all-weather with the grey from his base at Shabra Stables in Co. Monaghan. One of those victories, March 16 2018, turned out to be the last winning ride for the late Champion Jockey Pat Smullen.
McCann said: “We gave him a run in an 85-rated race a couple of weeks ago and he found it hard to go with them. The spark seems to be there, but he doesn’t have the legs for it anymore and we couldn’t live with ourselves if he was injured. After discussing it with Patrick (owner) we decided that now is the time to allow him to enjoy the retirement he thoroughly deserves.”
“He has crept too far back up the handicap and we want to do what’s best for him, so he will visit Dundalk one last time this weekend to be honoured for his record there, and will then be retired to Patrick’s farm — he bought him as a yearling ten years ago at Tattersalls Ireland and he is so proud of what he’s achieved.”
McCann also recalled the day Pat Smullen won on Togoville: “We didn’t think it was going to be his day. He stumbled out of the stalls and himself and Primo Uomo took each other on coming up the straight, but he just stayed on better.”
“It was a fantastic win and at the time, back in 2018, we never dreamed it would be Pat’s last winner. He was a true gentleman. He only rode for me a couple of times and was always so professional. He treated me the same as everyone else. It didn’t matter that I was Anthony McCann, I was given the same respect as if I was Dermot Weld — and I will always remember that about him.”
Ten days after that win, Smullen revealed he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was to take time out of riding for treatment. The nine-time champion jockey officially retired in May the following year, and sadly passed away in September 2020.
Togoville’s retirement leaves a hole in McCann’s small yard as the all-weather hero has become part of the furniture.
“Everyone gets on with him,” said McCann. “He can be a grumpy so and so if he doesn’t get his own way. When he does though, he will click for you. He’s been a very good servant to me and I’m so happy that he is retiring in full health back to a wonderful home at Brookland Stables with Patrick and his family.”
Jim Martin, manager of Dundalk stadium has invited Togoville to Dundalk for his final racecourse appearance.
Martin said: “We are delighted to make a presentation to Togoville and his connections this Sunday at our Winter Finals meeting. He has been both a mainstay and a legend at Dundalk Stadium since his first win back in January 2015. What he achieved in February of this year was remarkable for a horse of his age, it is a credit to the team at Shabra and to Anthony to have a horse who could return time and time again and be so competitive. It is wonderful to see a horse like Togoville retire at the top of his game.”