Black Caviar's half-brother Jimmy dies

Australia's most expensive and controversial young thoroughbred, known affectionately as ''Jimmy'', has lost his battle with the crippling foot injury laminitis.

Just before midday on Sunday, all parties involved, including the insurance underwriters, agreed that the $5 million younger half-brother to world champion sprinter Black Caviar would be euthanised on humane grounds.

A spokesman for the University of Melbourne Equine Centre at Werribee, where the yearling had spent the last two months and had some of the finest veterinary surgeons in the world attempt to fight the foot disease, described the disease as ''depressingly difficult to overcome''.

Those working closely with the colt noticed that he was deteriorating on Christmas Eve and despite rallying midway through last week, it became apparent that Jimmy was unable to get to his feet.

The colt has been the talking point of Australia ever since he was purchased for $5 million by Bill Vlahos last April. However, the architect of the ''punting club'' failed to pay for the youngster.

As reported exclusively in The Age, Inglis Bloodstock recently repossessed the horse after Vlahos failed to honour a number of deadlines to pay the money for the regally-bred colt.

However, the BC3 syndication outfit that purchased the yearling and is now under administration will be examining how many owners have paid money for their shares in the horse but will not be recognised.

Jimmy's breeder, Rick Jamieson, who sold the colt, retained a 10 per cent share in the horse.

It will be a legal minefield for those investors, both large and small, who paid their money to Vlahos over the last eight months but whose money was never passed on to the auction house that sold him.

Administrators last Friday announced that they had been given more time to investigate the complex affairs of the business empire of Bill Vlahos.

Inglis Bloodstock now stands to recoup its $5 million outstanding debt caused by Vlahos not settling for the colt last April.

Fairfax Media understands that Inglis faces a bill of $40,000 for veterinary costs for the past two months on Australia's most expensive colt.

However, it could be a legal minefield working out where the insurance money is allocated to, once the underwriters pay the $5 million policy out.

Company records have revealed creditors including vets, trainers and investors are owed a total of $15.47 million.

The courts in Melbourne and Sydney had given the administrators until early next year to probe Mr Vlahos' racing group BC3 Thoroughbreds and his private investment company Noble Edict before reporting back to creditors.

''What we're finding is that Bill has made some promises to people and they're not coming out,'' BC3 Chief Executive Craig Cameron said.

''We're still trying to work out if they're creditors or not. That's why we need some more time,'' he said.

Vlahos was allegedly bashed and a car set on fire at his property on December 9, days after he was called before the New South Wales Supreme Court to explain the whereabouts of $194 million allegedly held for the punting club in a non-existent bank account.

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