Steel Prince, a two-time Melbourne Cup runner, has died in tragic circumstances at Eagle Farm in Brisbane after suffering a suspected heart attack during a race.
The accomplished stayer jumped favourite in Saturday’s group 3 Premier’s Cup, but shortly after the start, he threw jockey Nash Rawiller to the ground and collapsed in the home straight in front of the St Leger Stand.
Rawiller was reported to have cradled Steel Prince’s head, before on-course vets made the decision to euthanise the eight-year-old.
It’s tough, really, for the whole stable, co-trainer Sam Freedman said, choking back tears.
He’s been an amazing horse for the whole stable and his owners and sadly, had a heart attack coming out of the gates.
He looked after the rider coming out. It’s not easy.
The Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained galloper had a prolific career, winning 10 of 35 races and more than $1. 15 million in prizemoney.
The son of Nathaniel started his career in Ireland, before he was brought to Australia to be trained by Darren Weir.
Anthony Freedman then took the training duties following Weir’s suspension and – the first running of the race with Melbourne Cup ballot exemption.
He finished ninth in that year’s Cup, won by Vow And Declare, and returned the following spring , which booked him another start in the Melbourne Cup.
He finished 16th in the 2020 edition, won by Twilight Payment.
He won his 10th race at his most recent start, at Flemington on Anzac Day, which saw him start favourite for Saturday’s Premier’s Cup at Eagle Farm.
He was a real warhorse, Sam Freedman said.
We said it last start, it was very fitting that he won in those Anzac Day silks.
He’ll be remembered for a very long time and for the whole stable, there’s a lot of people that worked with him, Rebecca Smith, who did a lot of work early when he came to us.
For his ownership group, I’m sure they’re devastated.
He’s a horse of a lifetime, you don’t often get a horse like him come around, won five metro races in a row, ran in two Melbourne Cups and gave his all every time.