Defender suffers fatal heart attack
Monday 23 July 2012
High-class sprinter Prime Defender suffered a fatal heart attack on new trainer Michael Appleby's gallops on Tuesday morning.
The eight-year-old entire won eight times for former trainer Barry Hills and also ran some excellent races in defeat.
He made two starts for Hills' son Charlie at the end of 2011, before taking up stallion duties at Hedgeholme Stud, Darlington, but after suffering fertility problems he returned to training at Appleby's yard in Warwickshire.
He was due to return to the competitive arena in this weekend's Sky Bet Dash at York before heading to Glorious Goodwood for the Stewards' Cup.
Appleby said: "Unfortunately, he had a heart attack on the gallops this morning.
"We were all looking forward to seeing him run again, so it's very sad for everyone. It's a huge loss."