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Sadlers Wells

Sadler's Wells sired Derby winners Galileo and High Chaparral

  PICTURE: Peter Mooney  

Legendary sire Sadler's Wells dies aged 30

SADLER'S WELLS, one of the most influential stallions of all time, has died at the age of 30.

The son of Northern Dancer and sire of Derby winners Galileo and High Chaparral died in his paddock at CoolmoreStud in County Tipperary on Tuesday evening.

Sadler's Wells helped to carry Coolmore to a position of global influence during a career at stud that started with a bang and carried on in that vein, leading to 14 sires' championships in Britain and Ireland.

Sadler's Wells's very first crop yielded six individual Group 1 winners and from then on he enjoyed unparalleled success. Highflyer's age-old record of 13 stallion titles came and went and every single Classic was won by a son or daughter of the bay son of Northern Dancer bred by Robert Sangster's Swettenham Stud.

Of all the Classics, the Derby at Epsom proved hardestto crack with several near-misses before Galileo romped to victory at Epsom in 2001.

As Sadler's Wells grew older his sons came to challenge his dominance of the stallion ranks and ultimately succeed him at the head of the field. Sons like Old Vic, Montjeu and his Derby-winning duo all hold high rank among the world's best sires. Galileo is the sire of red-hot 2,000 Guineas favourite Frankel, who could carry on the legacy in Saturday's Classic.

Among the many top-class racehorses siredby Sadler's Wells were In The Wings (Breeders' Cup Turf), Salsabil (1,000 Guineas, Oaks, Irish Derby), Barathea (Breeders' Cup Mile), Entrepreneur (2,000 Guineas), Kayf Tara (Gold Cup twice), Dream Well (Prix du Jockey Club, Irish Derby), Imagine (Irish 1,000 Guineas, Oaks), Islington (Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf) and Yeats (Gold Cup four times).

Sadler's Wells also sired one special gelding, Istabraq, the idolised triple winnerof the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

He was retired from stallion duties on May 13, 2008 at the age of 27 due to declining fertility having held sway over the breed for 20 years.

At the time of retirement he had sired the winners of 106 European Group 1 races, including 23 Classics in Britain, Ireland and France. His stranglehold on the title of champion sire was broken by Danehill in 2005, the same year that Sadler's Wells was crowned champion broodmare sire.

Sadlers Wells

Sadler's Wells: also a high-class racehorse for Robert Sangster

  PICTURE: Gerry Cranham  

Sadler's Wells was also a high-class racehorse, trained for Sangster at Ballydoyle in Ireland by Vincent O'Brien. After winning the 1984 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial he followed up in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes and inaugural Phoenix Champion Stakes. He also ran second in the Prix du Jockey Club and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

He retired to Coolmore Stud in 1984 and lived there until his death, a result of natural causes said a statement issued by the stud.

Christy Grassick, manager at Coolmore said: "He was undoubtedly the best sire Europe has ever seen and through his sons Galileo, Montjeu, High Chaparral and Yeats along with grandsons Hurricane Run and Rip Van Winkle he has left a wonderful legacy at Coolmore and his influence looks set to continue for many years to come.

"We all feel privileged to have been involved with such a special horse."


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