ASCOT, England// Rewilding had to be put down after suffering a serious injury in yesterday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, won by Nathaniel.
The Dubai Sheema Classic winner was about to make his challenge in the straight under Frankie Dettori but slipped badly, throwing his jockey to the ground. Ahmed Ajtebi, onboard Debussy, could be seen frantically looking around to check on his fellow Godolphin rider.
Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, said: "It is a tragedy. Unfortunately, we have lost him as he has had to be put down."
John Gosden, the trainer of the winner, was watching the race by the stand-side rail and collected the horse before the on-course veterinary team euthanised him.
Dettori suffered only a minor knee injury and will be available to ride at Glorious Goodwood next week.
"It looked like Rewilding shattered a cannon bone on his near fore leg, but he felt no pain," said Gosden. "Nature anaesthetises horses. He was very calm and collected. We held him and he had to be dealt with as the leg was completely gone. I fed him some grass before the vet dealt with him."
It was a freak accident but not one without precedent, as Tim Morris, the director of equine science and welfare at the British Horseracing Authority, said.
"These things do occasionally happen in racing. The horse was caught and examined by the vets and euthanasia was the only option. It is a great regret, but it was the right decision for the horse." If Rewilding's misfortune grabbed headlines, the race was not without other incidents. Rewilding struck into Workforce early on, which seemed to put last season's Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner off kilter.
Workforce looked to be travelling well as the field were led into the straight by Debussy but in the final two furlongs started to hang markedly left.
Ryan Moore, his jockey, looked powerless as the pair drifted right across from the centre of the track to end up in front of the grandstand. It gifted the only three year old in the race a two-and -a-quarter-length success and formed part of a treble on the card for William Buick, the jockey.
Nathaniel's victory was vindication for Gosden, who had persuaded Lady Rothschild, the owner, to stump up the £75,000 (Dh449,065) in order to supplement her charge. The £603,961.50 she received in return may seem like a large payday but the team will have to supplement again as the initial entry stage to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe closed before Nathaniel had revealed his talents.
"To finish in front of a horse like Workforce is everything," said Gosden. "He sets the standard. It will be wonderful if we can meet again in Paris. As a three year old we get a weight concession and we made that pay in the last furlong."