In the midst of the frenetic activity at the Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sale, we were served a mortal body blow, with the news of CATALOOCHEE’s passing. One of the fleetest-footed thoroughbreds of all time, CATALOOCHEE had already given notice of his intentions as a sire.

If his foals were anything to judge him by, there was every chance his career as a stallion would be a repeat of his mercurial feats as a racehorse.

Often enough, a stallion’s career is fashioned (or destroyed) by where he stands. Here was a man who’d discovered his perfect place, among a harem who matched his needs to the last, in an environment that would make a difference.

Besides it all, CATALOOCHEE was a really decent bloke, a gentleman to the core. Generous, kind and always willing, he reminded us of his owner Robert Muir, whose hand is always open to the needs of those around him.

We’ll miss “the Cat” like hell. Yet somehow, we don’t believe we’ve heard the last of him.

Cataloochee’s is a story worth telling. The story of a loner who toughed it out against the odds, who shouldered his 530kgs through both the sound and the pain barriers. A horse who, in the very best of races, never let another horse lead him once he’d hit the front. Even for a stride. Who ran the fastest 1000 metres in history, doing it the hard way. And came back for more, and did it again at 1200 metres. Against the best. A real champion, a fighter, a winner, CATALOOCHEE: out on his own. Metaphorically. Literally.”

(Summerhill Sires Brochure 2008/2009)