Admire Rakti, the Japanese-owned horse that was the pre-race Melbourne Cup favourite to win, died of acute heart failure, an autoposy has revealed.
The stayer pulled up in the final turn and died in the stalls soon after the race yesterday.
Racing Victoria’s chief veterinarian Brian Stewart told SEN Radio today the autopsy conducted at the University of Melbourne overnight concluded Admire Rakti’s heart had failed.
“The diagnosis is that the horse died of acute heart failure as a result of ventricular fibrillation probably, which is a disorganised heart rhythm which happens very, very rarely in human athletes and in horses and is a consequence of the athletic heart and the rapid heart rate during racing,” Stewart said.
“It is very rare but it does occur.
“It’s a disruption of the normal electrical conduction through the heart and there can be various sets of circumstances that might set it off. Athletes are probably more prone to the syndrome especially those with large hearts and a big capacity to raise the heart rate . . . throwing it into this abnormal rhythm and the heart is unable to supply enough blood for the body.”
The race that stops the nation yesterday shocked the nation with the death of two horses not long after they had crossed the finish line.
Seventh-placed Araldo was euthanised overnight after breaking its leg in a freak accident on its way back to its stable.
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