Three-time Group 1 winner Behemoth has been retired.

In his prime, the David Jolly-trained gelding was one of the most popular horses in the country owing to his monstrous physical size and his rags-to-riches story.

Affectionately known as the ‘big boy’, Behemoth was purchased by Grand Syndicates for just $6000 and earned more than $3.2 million in prizemoney during an illustrious career.

“We’ve made the call to pull up on him, he’s just been hanging in there by the skin of his teeth, I just felt that maybe it was time,” Jolly said.

“He’s just lost a couple of lengths and we’re battling to place him at the level, once they’re at the top of the tree and they lose a couple of lengths, you’re struggling.

“When he had that bit of a jar up at Caulfield (after the C.F. Orr Stakes), we’ve struggled to get him back to his best, we think he’s struggled with it mentally.”

Behemoth was last seen in the rescheduled G1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day and while Jolly says it was an admirable run, the Goolwa-based trainer believes the difficult decision to retire his stable star is the right one.

“We wanted to call it, sometimes these horses can go around too long, I think that was a respectable run, let’s go out on that one,” Jolly said.

“Those things are always hard decisions but it’s one of those things, you know it’s coming but you you’re probably reluctant to face it a bit.

“A horse like him they’re hard to come by, he had a bit of a cult following, I was a bit sad this morning, but you’ve just got to reflect on the job he’s done for us and just appreciate him for what he’s done.”

After breaking his maiden at Morphettville in November 2018, Behemoth would go on to win back-to-back G1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in 2020 and ’21, as well as the 2020 Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).

Behemoth will spend his retirement days at Living Legends, to the delight of Jolly.

“We reached out to them about six months ago and said they day will come, that’s very pleasing for me to know he can go to a place like that, he’ll get well looked after and he’s not tucked away in a back paddock somewhere, people will get to see him,” he said.

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