By Andrew Atkinson

Lady Buttons trained by Philip Kirby has retired following a small setback that would have seen the mare sidelined until late December.

“It’s been a significant day here at the yard and time has been called on a wonderful career,” said Kirby from Green Oaks Farm stables in Richmond North Yorkshire.

“Our horse of a lifetime, and the people’s favourite, Lady Buttons, has been retired,” revealed Kirby.

“Owners Keith and Jayne Savills and all of us here would like to thank you so much for sharing her incredible racing story with us,” said Kirby.

Lady Buttons defended the Listed mares’ hurdle at Wetherby in November, and finished a creditable fourth in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle, prior to winning landing a Listed mares’ Chase and a Grade 2 mares’ Hurdle at Doncaster.

Lady Buttons, who ran seventh in the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, was set to return in the autumn in what was planned to be her final season.

“What a legend she has been, and the decision to retire her (September 22) was typical of her devoted owners, putting their mare first. “A small setback meant she would have been on the sidelines, until Christmas, and a Spring return would not have been in ‘Buttons’ best interests,” said Kirby.

Lady Buttons won 15 of her 33 career starts, earning almost £300,000 in win and place prizemoney.

“With a few months now to chill, her second career begins in the Spring. We’re delighted that she will remain with us to become their broodmare.

“We can’t wait to see her in the fields with a foal by her side. One chapter is over – but the next one begins,” added Kirby.