Ascot ace Indian Queen is dead; Owner-breeder Brunton loses `the best horse I've had'.
The 15-year-old broodmare was 12 weeks in foal to Hector Protector when she was involved in a
fatal accident in the paddocks at North Munstead Stud at Godalming, Surrey.
"It seems she smashed her head against some posts," said her owner-breeder Sir Gordon Brunton yesterday. "The autopsy showed she had a slash in her gut, and she must have been in severe pain."
Trained by Lord Huntingdon, Indian Queen began her career in the south of France with a victory at Cagnes-Sur-Mer.
She went on to win pounds 265,000 in prize-money, but her finest hour was undoubtedly in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June 1991.
With Walter Swinburn in the saddle, Indian Queen, a 25-1 chance, beat Arzanni by a neck. It was the mare's last race before retirement.
"Her dam, Taj Princess, was bought for me by the late trainer Pat Taylor for just 580gns,'' said Brunton. "She's the best horse I've had, and there'll never be one like her."
The most successful of Indian Queen's offspring was the Lord Huntingdon-trained Prince Of India (by Night Shift), who was runner-up in the Group 3 Van Geest Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.
Indian Queen's four-year-old daughter Royal Patron (by Royal Academy), already a winner, is in training with John Dunlop. There is also an unraced two-year-old daughter of Alzao, named Memsahib, with David Elsworth.