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Devastation struck a large group of previously happy owners on Wednesday afternoon.

They had all cheered loudly and proudly when Tommy Berry brought their first starter, SACRED CAPTAIN (Sacred Falls-Lithograph) to the outside at the top of the Canterbury straight.

Then with just one cut of the cane, he accelerated and reached the lead, looking all over a winner on debut.

His run strangely started to end with 100m to go. He had momentum, but his stride started to shorten.

He wound up 3rd. It was a very impressive debut and his trainer, John Sargent said he was a horse with untapped talent.

But the 3YO with the world at his feet suddenly just…died.

A heart attack has been blamed. It may explain why he didn’t go on with the job when he hit the front, but the news of a death is always tragic and sad.

Especially when the horse has loads of talent.

“My thoughts are with the Tricolours connections and the team at Sargent racing after the tragic loss of Sacred Captain today, “ said his rider Tommy Berry.

“What a beautiful and talented horse he was. RIP, mate.”

May good fortune follow his luckless syndicate of owners hence forth.

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