Racing is a sport which can deliver the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Tamworth trainer Cody Morgan made a lonely trip home from Sydney on Sunday without his charge Pelerin in the back of the float.
Tragedy struck Pelerin in Saturday's Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick.
The five-year-old gelding was galloped on by subsequent winner Free Standing as the field neared the home turn, sustaining major injuries to his near hind leg.
Pelerin, owned by the Morgan family, was transferred to the Randwick Equine Centre for specialist care, but could not be saved.
"His tendon was severed in half and it cut off the main artery," Morgan told The Leader.
"We wanted to try and save him as a family pet, because he was a horse with the loveliest nature, but the injury was a lot worse than we originally thought.
"It's devastating for all of us.
"You hate to see it happen to any horse, but it always seems to happen to the good ones.
"That's racing - but this is a career low without a doubt.
Morgan said the toughest thing to comes to terms with was the fact Pelerin paid the highest of prices by where he was in the field.
"The hardest pill to swallow is it wasn't his fault," he said.
"He was running a good race and the fence was on fire, so he was looking good.
"But then he's galloped on and basically has his leg cut in half.
"The jockey (Blake Shinn) can go on to ride in a group 1 race later in the day, but I've got to go home with an empty float having lost my best horse.
"It might take me years to find another one as good as him."
Morgan wanted to thank those people who had sent messages of support and would take solace from the good times delivered by Pelerin.
"He had seven starts for four wins,” he said.
“He was a tough horse, a really tough horse.
“Once I saw his leg I was shocked he finished the course, but that speaks volumes about his toughness.
“I'll just go back to working hard with the dozen or so I've got that can't get out of their own road.”
Pelerin, a son of New Approach, landed the biggest of his four career wins in the Country Championships Wild Card on March 26.