Emerging stallion Northern Meteor passed away at Widden Stud last night after suffering a sudden attack of colic.
Northern Meteor took the breeding world by storm this season and was just a day away from being named Australian Champion First Season Sire after his progeny Romantic Touch, Zoustar, Northern Glory, Eurozone, The Voice and a number of others dominated the end of season two-year-old races.
The son of Encosta De Lago celebrated his first Group 1 winner in June when Romantic Touch and Zoustar quinelled the J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm and big things are expected out of his progeny during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
His death comes as a massive blow and shock to the team at Widden Stud who were already looking ahead to the future with the potential superstar stallion.
“We’re all still in a state of shock,” Widden owner Antony Thompson told Breednet.
“Northern Meteor suffered a severe bout of colic requiring surgery 18 months ago, but has been in perfect health since then, so this has come completely out of left field.
“It came on very quickly this time at about 9pm tonight and despite the very best of veterinary care, he died shortly after.
“At a time when we expected to be sharing and celebrating his success and achievements as Champion First Season Sire with our many clients and friends, we are instead mourning his death and wondering what might have been.”
While Northern Meteor’s exploits as a first year stallion have been exceptional his record on the track, before being retired in 2009, was just as impressive.
As a three-year-old Northern Meteor set track record times at Canterbury and Randwick before going on to win the Group 1 2008 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
He returned for the 2009 Autumn Racing Carnival and, although he wasn’t able to return to the winners circle, finished fourth in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and was second behind Takeover Target in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m).
Northern Meteor was noted for his explosive speed and was dubbed the ‘Equine Usain Bolt’ by the Australian racing media.
“He was a strong and noble horse that made a lasting impression on all who knew him and to say we are shattered here would be an understatement,” Thompson said.
“It’s devastating for Mr Cojuangco, the team at Gooree and everyone at Widden.”