Denis Hogan was back in the winner’s enclosure on Wednesday as he paid a heartfelt tribute to stable star Sceptical.
Bought for just £2,800 and placed in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and July Cup this season, the four-year-old suffered a fatal injury on the gallops on Tuesday.
As well as his close third at Royal Ascot and runner-up finish at Newmarket, Sceptical won four times for Hogan and owners Hilltop Racing, having been unraced for Godolphin.
Speaking after the victory of Royal Aide at Sligo, Hogan said: “It’s a big blow, but life goes on. It happens and it was just a pity that this time it was a superstar.
“It’ll happen again and we just have to live with it.”
Of his Donagh Meyler-ridden 100-30 winner, Hogan added: “Donagh gave him a good spin and we were running him over the wrong trip.
“Sean (Flanagan) rode him in Gowran and he was outpaced and he said he needs to go up in trip. It was the same story in Galway when Rachael (Blackmore) said to go up in trip. We took a big jump in trip today, and he loved the ground.
“He’s a real Galileo, he stays and he’s tough.”