Champion racehorse Tie The Knot has died at the age of 18 after suffering complications from colic.
The 13-time Group One winner spent his retirement on owner Sandy Tait's Riverina property after racing for six seasons in the care of Guy Walter at Warwick Farm.
Walter said it was a sad day for all involved with the horse who put him on the map as a trainer beginning with his win in the 1997 Spring Champion Stakes.
"It was a great privilege to be associated with him. He was a wonderful horse, a once in a lifetime horse," Walter said.
"I owe him so much - my career, everything.
"Not only was he a champion horse, he was a wonderful character.
"It is a very sad day for everyone who had anything to do with him and a day to reflect on what a great horse he was."
The popular gelding's 13 Group One wins included four successive Chipping Norton Stakes and two Sydney Cups, his first as a three-year-old in 1998.
"He lost a Ranvet Stakes on protest otherwise he would have had 14 Group One wins, the same as Kingston Town so that shows how good he was," Walter said.
"He was also unlucky in the Derby. His record speaks for itself."
When he was retired in 2002, Tie The Knot was Australia's highest stakes earner with $6.2 million.
Walter has gone on to many more Group One successes and is hoping the Tait family's famous red and white colours can come to the fore again this spring with Zuccotto.
The filly is out of La Zabaglione, a half sister to Tie The Knot, and will be entered in Saturday's Wakeful Stakes at Flemington.
"I hope she gets a start and if she does she will go on to the Oaks," Walter said.
"It would be fitting."
Overall Tie The Knot won 21 races demonstrating his versatility from 1200 to 3200 metres.