Hot Danish lost her long term battle with a leg infection on the weekend and was put down leaving a distraught group of connections.
She was the undisputed crowd favourite last year in Sydney and her loss has amassed an outpouring of support from race fans.
The Les-Bridge runner was being treated for what at the time appeared to be a minor leg infection but the speed and intensity with which it deteriorated shocked everyone.
The Randwick Equine Centre tried desperately to control the infection but the tissue on the back of her legs wasted away so much she had to be euthanized when she could no longer even stand.
Her 31 starts brought in $2.3 million with 16 wins and a further nine placings.
Her best performance came last year when making her break through Group 1 win in the All Aged Stakes and backing it up with a victory in the Doomben 10,000 after three previous palcings at the top level.
Eight more of her wins were in black type races and the courage of the horse is what built her such a dedicated fan base.
Hot Danish was bought for a poultry $32,000 at the Scone Yearling Sales by Bridge and it didn’t take long for her potential to show through.
Despite having trained winners in Australia’s greatest events including Golden Slippers and Melbourne Cups, it was obvious this was one of the most special horses Bridge was ever involved with.
“She has given me some of my greatest moments in racing. The day she won the All Aged Stakes at Randwick last year, that was just terrific – I don’t think I’ve had a better day at the races than that one,” he said.
The Australian Turf Club will recognise the popularity of Hot Danish when it pays tribute to the mare this Saturday at Randwick.
ATC racing manager Col Tuck said a tribute piece displaying her feature race victories would be played around the track and hopefully on television during the Randwick program.
“She was such a popular horse with Sydney crowds and it’s only fitting we remember her on Saturday,” Tuck said.
To fit in with the anniversary of her carnival stopping performance 12 months ago the tribute package will be shown in the lead up to the Group 1 All Aged Stakes.