Death of a 'fine' horse

HE was a very ordinary racehorse himself but Fine Cotton who died on Friday night will be remembered for longer than many of the great champions Australia has produced.

Trained in Coffs Harbour by New Zealand-born Hayden Haitana, the horse was the centre of one of the most audacious sporting scams of all time and almost single-handedly destroyed confidence in the local racing industry.

Fine Cotton's owner, film producer John Stainton, said the 31-year-old horse passed away from natural causes on his Brookfield property in Brisbane's western suburbs.

Stainton purchased the horse in 1985 and planned to star him as himself in a movie based on the infamous 'ring in' at Eagle Farm on August 18, 1984, when open-class sprinter Bold Personality was substituted for the average performer.

Fine Cotton lived out his days as a riding horse before his retirement about 12 years ago.



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