Top galloper turned sire Helenus has died from complications during surgery.
The stallion had a tremendous 18-start racing career and was beginning to make a name for himself off the track.
Helenus sired Australian Derby winner Ethiopia as well as 2011 BMW winner Cedarberg.
As a racehorse, trained by Leon Corstens, the son of Helissio won five of 18 starts and collected more than than $2 million in prizemoney.
He was a triple Group 1 winner, taking out the Caulfield Guineas, Victoria Derby and Rosehill Guineas.
Remarkably, all of his victories came at at Group level, with his other two successes coming in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes and the Moonee Valley Vase.
Corstens’ son Troy said he was “gutted” following the news, paying tribute to Helenus on twitter.
“Gutted to hear that Helenus has passed away. My first Group 1 winner purchased and will always hold a special place with me,” Corstens said.
“Was a super race horse. Did a bloody good job for the opportunities he got as a stallion.
“Also won one of the great Caulfield Guineas of all time. Held the record for a while.”
Leon Corstens told Racing Network he was “saddened” at the news.
“It was very sad news for us because he was so good to us. He was a good friend,” Corstens said.