This year’s The BMW winner Cedarberg has died of a heart attack after completing routine trackwork at Moonee Valley this morning.
The Pat Carey-trained gelding is believed to have died instantly after he collapsed and collided with the running rail while on his way to the stripping stalls.
“It was a pretty easy sort of workout, just to have a look at the Valley,” Carey said.
“He pulled up to a walk after the workout, turn around and sort of staggered and fell through the fence and that was that.
“Usually it’d be something like a ruptured aorta.
“The horse will have a post mortem on him and time will tell.
“It doesn’t happen very often that sort of thing.”
The accident was a tragic one for Carey and the horse’s owners, who felt that Cedarbeg was in the prime position to claim one of the big Cups races of the spring.
His swansong appearance was in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington on August 7, where he finished seventh behind Temple Of Boom.
Cedarberg was due to continue his spring return this Saturday in the 1,500 metre Craigslea Handicap race at Moonee Valley.
“He was already an established mile and a half horse,” Carey said.
“He was well positioned for the spring.
“His Aurie’s Star run was really nice.”
“We thought we were in a pretty good place to go forward.”
Jockey Rhys McLeod, who was aboard Cedarberg at the time of his collapse, was uninjured after the fall.
“Rhys is 100 per cent, he was able to get out of the way,” Carey said.
“Just bad luck for Rhys.
“He’s a really big part of what I do and he’s a really talented rider.
“Rhys rode him in the Aurie’s Star and was going to ride him next start in the Craigslea.”
Cedarberg, who had just finished 1,600 metres of track work, was preparing for his upcoming spring carnival campaign.
The Helenus gelding’s win in the $2.25 million The BMW in April had pre-qualified him for a start in both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.
The five-year-old, who was purchased at the 2008 Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale for just $32,500, won four of his 17 career starts and earned almost $1.5 million in prize money.