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Melbourne Cup hero Vintage Crop dies aged 27

Published 14/07/2014 | 11:36

Vintage Crop, ridden by Mick Kinane, after his win in the 1994 Irish St Leger
Vintage Crop, ridden by Mick Kinane, after his win in the 1994 Irish St Leger

Mick Kinane has hailed Vintage Crop as an "iconic stayer" after the Melbourne Cup hero passed away at the age of 27.

Trained by Dermot Weld, Vintage Crop became the first northern hemisphere-based horse in history to win the Melbourne Cup in 1993, triumphing in the 'race that stops a nation' in the hands of Kinane.

Vintage Crop also won the Irish St Leger in 1993 and 1994 and the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in 1992, as well as finishing sixth in the 1993 Champion Hurdle.

Kinane said: "He was an iconic stayer and we created history, so he'll always have a special place in my heart.

"He was a very tough and genuine horse and also very talented.

"He won the Melbourne Cup, two Irish St Legers and the Cesarewitch. He didn't manage to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. He just didn't stay well enough.

"We were pretty confident going into the Melbourne Cup. He'd won the Irish Leger, the rain came, we were expecting a big performance and he produced."

Here is his Melbourne Cup win:

Vintage Crop ran in the next two Melbourne Cups, finishing seventh to Jeune in 1994 and third to Doriemus in 1995, after which he was retired.

In recent times, he was part of the Living Legends attraction at the Irish National Stud, alongside Beef Or Salmon, Kicking King and Moscow Flyer.

A life-size statue of Vintage Crop overlooks the paddock at the Curragh.

The stud's CEO, John Osborne, told www.irishnationalstud.ie: "Vintage Crop was a true equine celebrity, a horse who pioneered the concept of truly global competition when he travelled from the Curragh to Flemington to win the Melbourne Cup, the richest race in Australia.

"The scale of that achievement is revealed by the number of horses who have since tried and come up short.

"He was a great feature of our visitor experience here at the Irish National Stud, his story was told to hundreds of thousands, who saw him as a true warrior.

"He was lovingly cared for here by Annette Boland, Fiona Doggett and Leona Harmon and will be missed by us all.

"Vintage Crop had a nephrosplenic entrapment which caused him to colic yesterday. As a 27 year old the treatment options are restricted, his response to pain control was disappointing and he was humanely put to sleep."

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