Last year’s Derby winner Desert Crown has been put down after failing to recover from a serious fracture suffered in August.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained star injured his fetlock on the gallops in Newmarket as he built-up to an intended run in the Juddmonte International at York.
A son of Nathaniel, Desert Crown ran just twice as a three-year-old, winning the Group Two Dante at York before going on to Classic glory at Epsom last June.
He was then sidelined for almost a year before returning with a brilliant effort to be second to Hukum at Sandown in May in the Brigadier Gerard, for what would prove to be his final appearance on the track.
Desert Crown’s devastated connections told the Racing Post that he had been “put down humanely” at the Newmarket Equine Hospital (NEH), where surgeons had been treating him.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, said: “Desert Crown was a great horse and was destined to be one of the best if he hadn’t have had this injury.
“He was one of the easiest winners of the Derby that I can remember and it’s a great shame that we’ve lost him.
“As has been well recorded he fractured his off-fore leg for which he has to have 16 screws inserted. 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.”