Vale Fiorente

30 May 2023 Written by VRC

The Victoria Racing Club is saddened to hear of the passing of 2013 Melbourne Cup champion Fiorente after a battle with illness. 

Bred in Ireland, Fiorente made his way to Australia in 2012 when he was purchased by Hall of Fame trainer Gai Waterhouse AO in search of her first Melbourne Cup. He made an immediate first impression on his Australian debut, running second in the 2012 Cup behind Green Moon. 

Fiorente returned to the Melbourne Cup Carnival the following year in search of redemption and triumphed on the world stage famously delivering Gai Waterhouse her first Melbourne Cup and jockey Damien Oliver his third. The overflow of celebrations and excitement after the win will be treasured by those that witnessed the performance. 

Fiorente would return to Flemington in the autumn and win the Group 1 Australian Cup further cementing his place in the top echelon of horses. Still a stallion, his stud value was significant, and he was eventually retired to stud after his 2014 racing season with huge support of breeders. He finished his stud career at Widden Stud and was renowned for his handsome looks and athletic progeny. 

Gai Waterhouse who named her Southern Highland property “Fiorente” in memory of the champion was saddened by his death. 

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Fiorente. He gave me the greatest joy of my racing life winning the Melbourne Cup in 2013. He was the most beautiful horse to train, so talented and handsome and he took everything before him.” 

VRC Chairman Neil Wilson extended his thoughts on behalf of the club. 

“The VRC extend our condolences to the connections of Fiorente including trainer Gai Waterhouse and Widden Stud. His 2013 Melbourne Cup win will always be remembered at Flemington through the sheer joy and emotions that the win provided.” 

“His legacy will always be a part of Flemington and will continue through his daughter Lunar Flare who has secured her spot in the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup.” 

After starting his career in England, where he was trained by Sir Michael Stoute and counted the Group 2 Princess Of Wales's Stakes (2412m) at Newmarket as his biggest success, he arrived in Melbourne in the spring of 2012 and was runner-up in the Melbourne Cup won by Green Moon .

The son of Monsun returned 12 months later to provide Waterhouse with her first win, and champion jockey Damien Oliver a third success, in Australia's greatest race.

Later that season he won the Group 1 Australian Cup before being retired to Sun Stud ahead of the 2014 breeding season and served his final couple of seasons at Widden Victoria.

Phil Marshall, a part of the Widden Victoria sales and nominations team who also worked with Fiorente at Sun Stud, was 'devastated' by his death.

"Fiorente was unbelievably tough but at the same time an absolute gentleman. The staff who knew him well are understandably shattered; he will be greatly missed not only by us but by the whole industry. Throughout his career he was able to produce horses with the same bravery and tenacity, which he had in spades."

Fearentless, a daughter of Fiorente, won the final race at Hamilton in Victoria around the same time Widden announced his death, while Group 2 winners Lunar FlareStars Of Carrum and Hawkshot are among his best-performed progeny.