Jedd O’Keeffe’s Middleham yard is in mourning following the devastating loss of stable stalwart Lord Yeats, after he sustained a fatal injury on the gallops.
The six-year-old, who was being prepared for a crack at next week’s Ebor Handicap, gave the trainer one of his first Listed victories when landing the Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket in 2017.
“It’s really sad,” O’Keeffe told the Racing Post. “We’re all devastated at the yard. He was a very popular character. His lass April Clarke has looked after him for two and a half years, she was devoted to him and she’s distraught.
“Andrea, my wife, was riding him in a prep gallop for the Ebor. He pulled up lame and we subsequently found he had fractured his pelvis. We thought we were going to save him but yesterday he took a turn for the worse and he just couldn’t be saved.
“He was still a really good Flat horse. He probably wasn’t going to get in the Ebor but we had other nice races coming up for him and he was obviously going to continue his hurdling career in the winter.
“It’s dreadful,” O’Keeffe added. “It always seems to be the good ones. We owe him a massive amount. He won us a Listed race and the Jorvik Handicap at York, he’s been an incredible horse.
“And he was such a nice character as well. He could be a bit grumpy in his stable but he’d never hurt anybody, we all adored him.
“His owner-breeders have been really good about it and really supportive and we’re lucky that we’ve got two more out of the mare. His half-sister Theatro won last week and another is hopefully going to make her debut at Doncaster on Saturday.”
Lord Yeats was successful five times and earned more than £100,000 in prize-money.