Alan King has paid tribute to popular stayer Tiger Cliff, who suffered a fatal heart attack after finishing fourth in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
The five-year-old collapsed at the end of the two-and-three-quarter-mile stamina test that concluded the meeting.
Tiger Cliff, owned by a syndicate headed by Henry Ponsonby, enjoyed his finest hour when winning the Ebor at York last August when trained by Lady Cecil.
The five-year-old moved to Alan King's Barbury Castle stable in the autumn with the intention of going hurdling. That had been put on hold and he stuck to the Flat, finishing third in the Yorkshire Cup and fifth in the Henry II Stakes before running at Royal Ascot.
“He collapsed after passing the post and everyone in the yard is absolutely devastated,” the trainer said.
“We did not have him long, but he quickly became hugely popular in the yard and we were all excited about his future.
“Our thoughts are with Henry Ponsonby and his syndicate, who were naturally distraught afterwards.”