A RACEHORSE said to be worth £8.5million and owned by a Chechen warlord has been kidnapped by thieves.
Police have launched a massive horsehunt in a bid to find Zazou, a Group 1-winning superstar who earned more than £1m on the track.
The horse, who is now 16, was said to have been stolen from a stable just outside Prague on Friday night.
Ramzan Kadyrov, a Vladimir Putin ally and Chechen leader, is believed to have purchased the horse from Dubai in 2012.
Zazou was among the top runners in the world during his peak and even got the better of Frankie Dettori in his biggest moment.
Superstar jockey Mickael Barzalona guided the horse to a narrow win over Dettori in a Group 1 at Campanelle in Italy in November 2011.
Victory in that race was worth more than £116,000 and cemented the horse's place as one of the top middle distance performers around.
However, in 2014 he was barred from racing and its winnings frozen after Kadyrov came under European sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
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Kadyrov posted his dismay at hearing his prized possession had been pinched.
He wrote on messaging app Telegram: "This is a great shame.
"I am worried Zazou might end up in the wrong hands. How did this happen? Where was the security?"
Kadyrov, who is said to own around 120 horses, claimed the horse was worth £8.5m, while the Guardian said it was worth only £17,000.
Zazou is one of the most sought-after stallions in the Czech Republic and has been standing at stud since 2016.
He had eight wins in a 33-race career and is a son of the legendary Shamardal.
The case has alarming similarities to Shergar.
The Derby-winning horse was never found after being stolen in February 1983.
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