LEGENDARY racehorse Fiorente has died aged 15 after suffering a ‘chronic illness’.
The globe-trotting sensation won just short of £4million in a staggering career that saw him claim the Melbourne Cup in 2013.
Fan-favourite horse Fiorente, nearside in the black and blue silks, has died aged 15
Fiorente was trained by Australian racing star Gai Waterhouse and she said he was simply ‘the most beautiful horse’.
Phil Marshall, who had worked with Fiorente since he went to stud in 2014, said: “We’re all devastated.
“Fiorente was unbelievably tough, but at the same time an absolute gentleman.
“The staff who knew him well are understandably shattered.
“He will be greatly missed not only by us but by the whole industry.
“Throughout his career, he was able to produce horses with the same bravery and tenacity, which he had in spades.”
Ryan Moore rode Fiorente on his debut in a Class 4 at Newbury in April 2011.
He won next time out a month later when sent off 8-11 fav and finished runner-up on his next start after that to Nathaniel in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
His next win would be a Group 2 at Newmarket in July of the following year, with victory worth £62,000.
But it wasn’t until he travelled Down Under that he really started making big bucks.
He earned his owners just under £600,000 when a length second in the 2012 Melbourne Cup at huge odds of 30-1.
Just 12 months on he made amends when claiming the race that stops a nation – and the £2.4million cheque that goes with it – after being sent off 6-1 fav.
Punters were quick to pay tribute to the horse as they remembered his greatest moments.
One said: “We’ll never forget the fighting strength of Fiorente in the Melbourne Cup.”
While another wrote: “Extremely sad news around a Melbourne Cup hero.
“Thoughts with everyone has has been around the life of Fiorente.”
Waterhouse added: “He gave me the greatest joy of my racing life winning the Melbourne Cup.
“He was so talented, handsome and he took everything before him.”