The death of Shogun Lodge, one of Australia's Thoroughbred heroes, cast a pall over the final day of the Flemington spring carnival on Nov. 8.
Grand Lodge's leading southern-hemisphere son was competing in the 1,600 meters Cantala Stakes (Aust-I), the major event on the final of four days of what had been champagne racing before record crowds.
The winner of $4.6 million appeared to be travelling well in his usual spot near the rear of the 16-strong field.
Just 400 meters into the race, the 7-year-old warrior started to wobble and became distressed. Glen Boss tried to pull the 11-2 favorite up.
The horse collapsed, Boss skidding under the collapsible aluminium rail.
Boss, winning rider of Makybe Diva in the Melbourne Cup (Aust-I) four days earlier, escaped with cuts and abrasions. Shogun Lodge was dead before veterinary surgeons could reach him.
It appears likely the gelding died of a heart-attack. Results of an autopsy should be released within a few days.
Fittingly, perhaps, the Cantala was won by another horse with a string of minor group I placings, Titanic Jack.
Shogun Lodge won only three races from 30 group Is he completed, but his trademark grandstand finish and great depth of courage with big weights earned him a cult following.
The Bob Thomsen-trained chestnut ran second in a dozen group I races, mostly beaten by top gallopers and small margins. But the $200,000 yearling had his days with 17 victories at the expense of Sunline and many of the best horses around.