Novara Park has suffered a cruel blow with the passing of foundation stallion Jakkalberry.
“He got a gut infection and that was that, it was pretty quick and we had to put him down early this morning,” studmaster Ray Knight said.
“To say it was premature is an understatement, the signs couldn’t have been more encouraging for the horse. He’s only had two to the races and they’ve both gone well.”
They include the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Thomas Aquinas, who was runner-up on debut and then finished sixth in the Karaka Million (1200m).
He looms as a leading chance in Saturday’s Group 2 Reid & Harrison Ltd Slipper (1200m) at Matamata.
A son of Storming Home, Jakkalberry won 12 races with his career highlight a victory in Italy’s Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano (2400m) and made his mark in the Southern Hemisphere in 2012 when third in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
He retired to Luigi Muollo’s Novara Park in Cambridge in 2014.
“I feel so sorry for Luigi, who had gone out of his way to give Jakkalberry every chance to succeed at stud, it just seems so unfair,” Knight said.
“He put so much time and enthusiasm into it.
“He was such a good racehorse and he was making every post a winner with good results in the sales ring. It’s a big blow, he was a special horse.”