Triple Group One winning sprinter Start Wondering has been retired after suffering a minor tendon strain.
Prepared in Wanganui by Evan and JJ Rayner, the eight-year-old won 11 of 29 starts, including back to back editions of the Gr.1 Waikato Sprint (1400m) and the 2017 Gr.1 Railway (1200m).
Initially prepared by Paul Belsham, Start Wondering enjoyed a stint across the Tasman with Chris Waller, where he won three races in Sydney before joining the Rayners after a bleed.
Under the Rayners guidance, Start Wondering was voted New Zealand’s Champion Sprinter for season 2016/17.
“He’s still at our place but he is out in the back paddock and we are really trying to find a good home for him,” Evan Rayner said.
“He had a little bit of filling in a tendon and we scanned him and he had a black spot on the tendon and straight away we knew he had a bit of a strain there and we decided to retire him.
“He had a hell of a lot of ability and once he settled, he ran the races out pretty well.”
The retirement of the star sprinter has also proved the impetus for trainer Evan Rayner to hang up his stopwatch, with daughter JJ to take sole charge of the stable.
“At the end of March, the end of the financial year, I will hand it over to JJ, but I will still be around. But I won’t renew my licence,” said Rayner, who has been training since 1969.