Multiple Grade One winner Thyme Hill has died after suffering a fatal injury on the gallops.
The nine-year-old won three times at the highest level for Philip Hobbs – landing the 2019 Challow Hurdle, the 2021 Aintree Hurdle and the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton last Christmas.
Having finished fourth on his seasonal reappearance at Wetherby earlier this month, Thyme Hill was being readied for the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on Friday week – a race in which he beat Paisley Park three years ago – but his connections are now mourning the loss of a stable stalwart.
Johnson White, who joined Hobbs on the training licence earlier this year, said: “It’s very sad for the whole yard. He’s been phenomenal for some lovely owners and has taken them on a fantastic journey. We’ve been very lucky to have him.
“His run at Wetherby was OK the other day and he would have gone to Newbury on December 1. He was just doing a routine piece of work this morning and what happened happened, sadly.
“I feel very sorry for the whole yard as he’s been our flagbearer for a number of years now. Hopefully we have some nice young horses to reach his heights, but they take some replacing.”