Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees has been rocked by the sudden death of talented import Salon Soldier.
The former German galloper died on Tuesday night of complications from a ruptured cecum, which in human terms is similar to a burst appendix.
“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,” Lees told AAP.
Unbeaten in two Australian starts, Salon Soldier had resumed light work and was being aimed towards the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April next year.
Salon Soldier underlined his potential with an impressive Listed win in the Visit Victoria Plate (1800m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.
The 5-year-old had 14 starts for 4 wins and seven placings, amassing $215,542 in earnings.