Inaugural Dubai World Cup winner Cigar dies at age 24

Cigar, a two-time Horse of the Year, had a 16-race winning streak in the mid-1990s, which is still considered one of racing’s greatest achievements.

In this July 13, 1996, file photo, Jerry Bailey rides Cigar to victory in the Arlington Citation Challenge, in Arlington Heights, Ill. Cigar, the two-time Horse of the Year whose 16-race winning streak is considered one of racing's greatest achievements, died Tuesday night, October 7, 2014, in Lexington, Ky.  AP Photo/Jane Gibson, File
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Cigar, the first Dubai World Cup winner and two-time Horse of the Year whose 16-race winning streak is considered one of racing’s greatest achievements, has died. He was 24.

A release from Kentucky Horse Park said that Cigar died on Tuesday night at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital from complications following surgery for severe osteoarthritis in his neck.

Cigar won 19 of 33 starts and earned nearly US$10 million (Dh36.7m) in prize money, but he was best known for his incredible run of wins that tied Citation.

An allowance victory at Aqueduct in October 1994 began Cigar’s famed run that included victories in 1995 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Hollywood Gold Cup. He was Horse of the Year in 1995 and 1996.

At the Breeders’ Cup, commentator Tom Durkin famously called him “the unconquerable, invincible, unbeatable Cigar”.

But local horse racing lovers may remember how Cigar beat fellow American raider Soul Of The Matter at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse.

Cigar was retired in 1999 and enshrined in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2002.

“We are heart-broken to lose this great horse, especially as we were trying to do everything we could to improve his quality of life,” said the park’s director of equine operations Kathy Hopkins.

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