HE WAS just a name to most punters and simply a number to most bookmakers, but for us, our staff and the connections of Cedarberg, the horse's shock death from an apparent heart attack yesterday morning has left his owners Trevor and Terrei Delroy, my wife Cheryl and my family all completely shattered and broken-hearted.
''He was such a lovely, beautiful big horse,' his manner won him over with everyone in the stable, his application to training was first class. He was just a pleasure to have around.''
Cedarberg, who won the group 1 BMW in Sydney last autumn, collapsed and died while trying out the Moonee Valley course where, this Saturday, he was scheduled to continue his climb towards a shot at the Caulfield Cup.
There were no warning signs.
''He ran so well first-up and recovered so well,''his coat was glowing, his condition and his weight perfect. I thought his spring was assured.
''It's hard to compare the loss of a horse with other things that happen in life but in racing it doesn't get much tougher than this, It's just one of those blows that rock you.''
Cedarberg, who was bred and raced byDelroys property "Wyadup Farm" in Western Australia, was one of the higher-ranked older horses for the Caulfield Cup.
''He was going to get 54 kilograms in the Caulfield Cupand he was fully qualified, His mile-and-a-half form is exemplary and you just knew he would have been there [in the finish],'' A post-mortem on the horse is expected to reveal he suffered a heart attack.
Very importantly and thank God his rider Rhys McLeod was upset but unhurt in the incident.
Pat knows that the likes of Cedarberg are difficult to come by but the toughest thing of all is that, although he'd already achieved quite a bit, you just knew his star was on the rise. It's fair to say, his, will be tough shoes to fill in the immediate future
"WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE FOR THEIR SUPPORT AND KIND WORDS IT IS VERY HUMBLING"