There was high drama and then tragedy in the mounting yard at Caulfield as three-year-old filly Kiss A Rose collapsed and died after running in the $120,000 Robert Taranto WJ Adams Stakes.
The Peter Moody-trained galloper had finished unplaced behind another mare, Shamal Wind, in the feature event over 1000 metres.
As she was brought in to unsaddle in the enclosure directly in front of the stands she collapsed.
Her strapper and staff from the Moody stable, along with Racing Victoria staff, showered her with water and ice, but the stricken horse, lying prone, died within minutes.
Dr Grace Forbes, the Racing Victoria veterinary surgeon on duty at the Saturday afternoon fixture, said afterwards that the death was not heat related.
Racing Victoria's heat policy comes in to play when the wet bulb, which measures humidity, registers 28 and above or the temperatures tops 35.
On Saturday the highest point the wet bulb reached was 27.7 and the temperature high was 31.5, a Racing Victoria spokesman said.
The green screens were erected around the filly, who was having her fifth career start, and she expired within minutes.
The last race was delayed as a float was brought in front of the stands and her body removed.
Racing Victoria will now conduct an autopsy and investigate the incident.
Champion jockey Glen Boss, who rode the heavily backed but well beaten favourite Lord of the Sky in the race, was fuming at the length of time the horses were left waiting at the barriers in warm temperatures before the event got under way.
''We were down there seven minutes before we jumped. My horse was gone before we even ran,'' an angry Boss said afterwards.
*Leading trainer Tony Vasil is the subject of a stewards inquiry folllowing allegations that he assaulted a stable hand at Caulfield on Friday.
It is alleged that Vasil, whose Prince Harada was a beaten favourite in one of Saturday's features, assaulted an employee of Peter Moody's close to the Caulfield horse swimming pool as he rode a bike close to where Vasil was attending the horse.