Derby winner Desert Crown has been put down in news that has shocked and saddened the world of horse racing.
Back in August, the horse, which is owned by Saeed Suhail, suffered a serious fetlock injury at Newmarket, from which he failed to recover. The fracture occurred during Desert Crown's build-up to the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York, which was also in August.
And sadly, while it had been thought the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt was recovering from the injury, the severity of it has meant Desert Crown had to be put down. He was humanely put down on Monday afternoon at the Newmarket Equine Hospital.
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In the wake of the tragic news, Bruce Raymond, who is racing manager to Suhail, called Desert Crown's passing a "great shame." He said: "Desert Crown was a great horse and was destined to be one of the best if he hadn’t had this injury.
"He was one of the easiest winners of the Derby I can remember, and it’s a great shame we’ve lost him." He also added: "He fractured his off-fore leg, for which he had to have 16 screws inserted.
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"Everything seemed to be going well, but he put so much pressure on his near fore when he stood on it that it was unsustainable. He was put down humanely at NEH, where the surgeons have been outstanding."
It was back in June 2022 that Desert Crown, ridden by jockey Richard Kingscote, claimed victory in the Derby over Hoo Ya Mal and Westover. Tributes came pouring in on social media after the news of Desert Crown's death had been announced.
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One fan on X, formerly Twitter, said: "Now that’s really sad. A very good horse. RIP." Another added: "Such a sad loss. A lovely horse. Commiserations to all connections." A third commented: "Very sad news! What a legend of a horse
A fourth wrote: "Such a sad sad loss…was destined to be a great." And a fifth joined in the tributes, writing: "Absolutely brutal news / luck. You just never know what's going to happen. Anything can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. Terrible shame."
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