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Bonecrusher, the first New Zealand-trained horse to win $1 million, has died at the age of 32.

The nine-time Group One winner was euthanased at the property of his owner and carer Shirley Mitchell after he contracted the hoof disease laminitis.

Bonecrusher is best remembered for his stirring 1986 Cox Plate victory over Our Waverley Star, a race that has become folklore in Australia.

The gelding raced 44 times for 18 wins and had a record three-year-old season winning the New Zealand Derby and AJC Derby as part of a seven-race winning sequence.

Shortly after his Cox Plate victory he went to Japan where he contracted a virus that almost claimed his life.

Trainer Frank Ritchie was able to get him back to the racetrack and the horse went on to add another two Group One victories to his record, including the 1987 Australian Cup.

In retirement, Bonecrusher travelled around New Zealand and Australia and lead out the fields for several major races.

He was made a sports ambassador for New Zealand in 1986.

 
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