Rewilding, who beat champion So You Think in the recent Prince Of Wales Stakes, had to be put down after a tragic incident at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday.
The four-year-old colt broke down after making a wrong step in the sprint to the finish line in Saturday’s race, subsequently suffering a clean break to the canon bone in his leg.
John Gosden, who trains the successful Nathaniel, was on course during the incident.
The trainer was one of the first to rush to Rewilding’s aid and believes that the horse was in little or no pain.
“It’s a freakish thing,” Gosden said.
“He has put the leg down wrong, and he’s broken the cannon-bone clean.
“He ran down the track in front of everyone and stopped.
“He was very calm and collected and we held him.
“He had to be dealt with because the leg was completely gone.
“It was a freak of nature, he was in no pain.
“The extraordinary thing is when they break a leg like that, it’s as though nature anaesthetises them.
“They feel absolutely no pain. They feel more with a cut.
“I fed him a bit of grass and he munched away. Unfortunately, he had to be put down.
“The horse was very well dealt with by the vet, it was a clean break and a quick end.”
Gosden was quick to say that this type of tragedy could occur anywhere, and wasn’t the fault of Ascot Racecourse.
“People watching must understand that I’ve seen horses do that galloping in a paddock and it can happen at any time without warning,” he said.
Rewilding’s stable manager, Simon Crisford, was severely shaken by the heart-breaking turn of events.
“It has hit everybody here very hard,” Crisford said.
“Rewilding was an outstanding Godolphin champion.
“His race record was superb, and we had every reason to hope he could win the King George.
“You’re never expecting anything like that to happen.”
The exciting four-year-old had won four of his six race starts and has around $A 4.7 million in prize money.