Heart attack kills HK super horse Vengeance Of Rain
Former Hong Kong Horse of the Year and Dubai Sheema Classic winner, Vengeance Of Rain, died in New Zealand at the relatively young age of 11.
The son of stallion great Zabeel was returned to Cambridge Stud, where he was born, when he retired from racing in 2008 and died there on Monday night after apparently suffering a heart attack in his sleep.
His former trainer, David Ferraris, said he was saddened by the news of the great horse's death at such an early age but said Vengeance Of Rain suffered heart irregularities twice during his racing career.
'He had a heart condition. It just shows how good he was that he was able to achieve so much in spite of it. There were no marks, no injuries, and as far as we can tell no pain,' he said. 'Sir Patrick Hogan [owner of Cambridge Stud] said he just went to sleep and didn't wake up. He was such a wonderful horse, one of those who come along once in a blue moon.'
Vengeance Of Rain burst onto the scene as a four-year-old, taking out the Derby, the QE II Cup and the Champions & Chater Cup but had to bow to Bullish Luck in Horse of the Year voting. He took the title the following season, however, with wins in the 2006 Hong Kong Cup, 2007 Gold Cup and, in his finest moment, the 2007 Dubai Sheema Classic that made him Hong Kong's highest prize-money earner until his figure of HK$75.41 million was passed by Viva Pataca last season.
Owner Raymond Gianco Chow Hon-man said yesterday: 'It came all of a sudden for me, and when David told me this morning I was shocked. We think it might have been a heart attack in his sleep as there was no sign of any distress or injury. He was such a good horse, a true champion for the Hong Kong people and one who did so much for the Chow family too.'
The amount, in HK dollars, that Vengeance Of Rain earned in prize money. The record holder is Viva Pataca with HK$83 million