Trainer Denis Hogan has lost his star sprinter Sceptical following an injury on the gallops on Tuesday morning.
Sceptical had been one of the stories of racing this season having progressed through the sprinting ranks and placing twice in Group One company in the UK.
We have been dealt a devastating cruel blow at boherna this morning with the loss of our superstar sprinter SCEPTICAL
He was a horse of a lifetime and a game changer for my training career and everyone at boherna
Thoughts with @RacingHilltop @JamesGough1942 pic.twitter.com/PF17C0WaNI
— Denis Hogan Racing (@d_g_hogan) August 4, 2020
Owners, Hilltop Racing picked up the Godolphin cast-off for a bargain 2,500 guineas at the Tattersalls Horses in training sale as an unraced three-year-old.
The horse progressed quickly through the ranks winning three times on the All-Weather at Dundalk, including winning a handicap off a mark of 101 by six and a half lengths, marking him out as a clear pattern performer.
Following lockdown, Sceptical made his turf debut winning the Listed Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Woodlands Stakes over an extended five furlongs at Naas.
That win booked his ticked for Royal Ascot. Frankie Dettori was booked rather than regular riding partner Joey Sheridan. The horse took his place in the Diamond Jubilee over six furlongs rather than face Baattash on the King's Stand over the minimum trip.
The Royal raid was foiled in a thrilling finish, with Hogan's star going down by a neck and a head to finish third. Connection were undaunted by the expedition and again travelled with the horse.
Sceptical lined up in the July Cup at Newmarket in another Group One field, this time finding one horse, Oxted too good.
That was the last time Sceptical was seen on course before his unfortunate accident on Tuesday morning. Today's news arrives just days after Hogan had called time on his riding career to focus on training.
The trainer said on Twiter: "We have been dealt a devastating cruel blow at Boherna this morning with the loss of our superstar sprinter SCEPTICAL He was a horse of a lifetime and a game-changer for my training career and everyone at Boherna."
While owners Hilltop Racing thanked Hogan and his staff, tweeting: "We had a terrible tragedy this morning as Sceptical was fatally injured on the gallops. He was an amazing horse for us and we’ll remember all the great days we enjoyed with him."