The European odyssey of top Hong Kong galloper Gold-Fun came to a tragic end on Sunday night as he was euthanised after suffering catastrophic leg injuries in the final stages of the Prix Maurice de Gheest in France.
Richard Gibson-trained Gold-Fun, with Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon aboard, was sent out the popular elect for the Group One over 1,300m down the Deauville straight, but he was quickly under pressure at the 400m before crashing to the turf in the final stages.
Soumillon was stood down from his remaining rides and was taken to hospital following the fall.
Gold-Fun, who began his career in Ireland when he raced as Strada Colorato for trainer Ger Lyons, was attempting to win the Prix Maurice de Gheest after flying home for second in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
The popular sprinter-miler won three Group Ones in Hong Kong – the Classic Mile, Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup and Chairman’s Sprint Prize – among 11 lifetime victories in his 32-start career, amassing over HK$47 million for owner Pan Sutong.
The Prix Maurice de Gheest was won by Diamond Jubilee third Signs Of Blessing.