Shield, winner of the Bonusprint.com Classic Trial at Sandown, has been put down after a freak accident, it has been reported.
The three-year-old colt, owned and bred by the Hesmonds Stud, was found with a fractured pastern after a routine swim, part of the training programme designed to bring him back to full fitness following a disappointing run in the Derby.
“It’s the worst news I have ever had to give an owner in my career. It’s shocking, a huge loss to the stable,” trainer Gerard Butler told the Racing Post.
“We ourselves knew how well he used to work and the potential he had. I feel very sorry for the owners. He was a good three-year-old who we hoped would go on to be an even better four-year-old.”
After winning a maiden on the all-weather at Lingfield in December, Shield gained his Group Three success at Sandown in April that earned him a place in the Vodafone Derby.
But despite two sessions on the course, he finished a never dangerous tenth to Kris Kin.