Imported stayer Salon Solider has died from a ruptured cecum at the stable of trainer Kris Lees overnight.
Salon Soldier was set for a big 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign, after starting his Australian racing career with impressive wins in the Myer Spring Fashion Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 12 and the Listed Visit Victoria Plate (1800m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, but passed away after suffering the equine equivalent of a ruptured appendix.
Lees was expecting big things out of the imported German galloper, as were his owners Australian Bloodstock, and the trainer was understandably devastated to have lost such a talented galloper in such tragic circumstances.
“In human terms it’s like a ruptured appendix,” Lees said on his website.
“He was off his feed a bit overnight and we took him to the vet clinic with similar signs to colic but it was too late.
“I’ve never had a horse with this problem before and the vet told me the last time he’d seen a horse with that problem was about 20 years ago so it’s not a common occurrence.
“We had some big hopes for him in the autumn so it’s a real blow to the team at Australian Bloodstock, his owners and the stable.”
Salon Soldier started his racing career in Germany at the end of 2011 and progressed to Group level in 2012; finishing third behind Pakal in the Group 3 Bavarian Classic (2011m) in Munich, seventh behind Pastorius and Novellist in the Group 1 Deutsches Derby (2413m) and third in the Preis Der Stadtsparkasse Dusseldorf (2112m).
The Soldier Hollow entire failed to fire in two starts in Dubai at the start of this year, finishing 14th in the Dubal Billet Trophy (2000m) and third in the Al Naboodah Commercial Group Trophy (2600m), but returned to his best form with a second place finish in the Listed Preis Dachfonds Grand Prix-Aufgallop (2112m) in Cologne and finished six lengths behind Novellist and Waldpark in the Group 2 Grosser Preis Der Badischen Unternehmer (2212m) in his last start before being imported to Australia.
Lees has not won a Group 1 event since Samantha Miss dominated the fillies races during the 2008 Spring Racing Carnival and was hopeful that Salon Solider could break his drought in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m) next year.