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Champion Octagonal Passes Away

Monday, 17th October 2016

Octagonal, one of the greatest Australian horses of the modern era, has died at the age of 24. Known affectionately as the 'Big O', Octagonal (Zabeel-Eight Carat, by Pieces Of Eight) was euthanised at Godolphin Woodlands on Saturday morning. He was still bright and alert mentally but was struggling physically, Godolphin said in a statement. Octagonal was bred at Cambridge Stud in New Zealand and was from the first crop of Champion sire Zabeel. Purchased by Jack and Bob Ingham, he was trained for his entire career by John Hawkes at their Crown Lodge headquarters. Crowned Australian Horse of the Year in 1996, Octagonal won 14 of his 28 starts including 10 races at Gr1 level. His career prize money haul of $5,892,231 made him the highest earning Australian racehorse in history at the time. Next Saturday marks the 21st anniversary of Octagonal’s stirring victory over Mahogany as a 3YO in the 1995 Gr1 Cox Plate. The following autumn he became the first horse since Kingston Town to win the 3YO Triple Crown of the Canterbury Guineas (now the Australian Guineas), Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby. 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 Gr1 winner, Lonhro is the only Australian Horse of the Year to go on and become a Champion stallion. John Sunderland, General Manager at Woodlands 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 his old mate Canny Lad. Watch Octagonal's Australian Derby win below.

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