Cheltenham Champion Hurdle-winner Espoir D'Allen has been put down following a "freak accident" in training.
The five-year-old made history in March by claiming the famous race by a record winning margin of 15-lengths.
Espoir D'Allen sustained a shoulder injury at Gavin Cromwell's yard a fortnight ago, and the decision was made today to put him down.
“It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Espoir D’Allen had to be put down earlier today," Cromwell confirmed to The Racing Post.
Following a freak accident two weeks ago, he was relocated to Fethard Equine Hospital. John Halley and his veterinary team deemed that it was inhumane to persist with treatment and, on their advice, we made the tough decision."
Jockey Mark Walsh, who was on board the horse for the 15-length success over Melon in the Champion Hurdle, has described Espoir D'Allen as the best he's ever ridden.
"It is a sickening day for everyone concerned. He is only a five-year-old and he holds the record in the Champion Hurdle by winning it by 15 lengths. He could have been anything.
"It is very sad for JP and Gavin and everyone in the yard. Words can't describe the way everyone is feeling. He is the best I have ridden without any doubt."
It comes on a sad day for racing, with the confirmation that the star three-year old of 2018 Roaring Lion has passed away after losing his battle with Colic.
The four-time Group 1 winner had been ill for a number of months and following examinations, was put to sleep at Cambridge Equine Hospital.