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Spring Carnival 2016: Octagonal, champion galloper and sire of Lonhro, dead at 24

Octagonal (with jockey Shane Dye in pink) wins the 1995 Cox Plate. Photo: Vince Caligiuri Octagonal (left) and and Lonhro (right) meet at Woodlands Stud in 2004. Photo: Peter Stoop
Nanjing Night Net

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Superstar galloper Octagonal, one of the top racehorses of the past 30 years, has died at the age of 24.

The horse, owned while racing by the Ingham brothers and trained by John Hawkes, won at group 1 level as a two-year-old but was an absolute top-liner as a three-year-old and older horse.

His group 1 triumphs include the 1995 Cox Plate, as a three-year-old, and also the Australian Derby, Canterbury Guineas and Rosehill Guineas in a marvellous second season which saw him emerge as a star of the track.

He was, however, precocious enough to be a champion two-year-old as well, running second in the Golden Slipper and Champagne Stakes as well as winning the Sires Produce Stakes.

He retired to stud after 28 starts with a record of 14 wins (10 group 1), seven seconds (six in group 1 or group 2 races) and a third. He ended his racing career having earned $5,892,231, the highest of any galloper in Australasia to that point.

Known affectionately as “The Big O”, the son of Zabeel – from whose first crop he was sired – was bred at Cambridge Stud in New Zealand .

Octagonal developed a cult following because of his toughness and capacity to win in tight finishes.

Retired to stud in 1997, Octagonal made the perfect start to his new career, siring Horse of the Year Lonhro in his first crop. An 11-time group 1 winner, Lonhro is the only Australian Horse of the Year to go on and become a champion stallion.

John Sunderland, general Manager at Darley-owned Woodlands Studd said, “It is a sad day as Octagonal is an old favourite of everyone and he will be sorely missed. He was such a lovely horse to deal with and such a big part of Woodlands.”

Octagonal will be buried at Woodlands, where he has spent the majority of the past 16 years, alongside another top horse from the early 1990s, Canny Lad. The ultimate racing form guide with free tips, live odds and alerts for all racing.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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