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Black Sam Bellamy - brother of Galileo and Group 1 sire - dies aged 19

Source of The Giant Bolster and Sam Spinner had a heart condition

Black Sam Bellamy being shown off to breeders at Cheltenham in 2013
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Black Sam Bellamy, the brother of Galileo who tasted success as a sire both on the Flat and over jumps, died on Monday.

The son of Sadler's Wells, who had stood the past ten breeding seasons at Shade Oak Stud in Shropshire, was 19.

Stud owner Peter Hockenhull reported: “He had been ill for several weeks with a congestive heart problem.

"The veterinary advice was that the condition could not be cured but that as long as he could be kept comfortable and enjoyed quality of life he could continue to cover mares when he felt able to. We informed our clients of this and I am grateful for the understanding they showed. 

"True to form, he wanted to cover a mare on certain days, whilst preferring to rest on others, and it sums up his innate vitality that the last mare he covered was certified in foal on the very day he died.

“Unfortunately on Monday his condition deteriorated markedly and it was obvious that we had reached the end of the road, so with great sadness we had to bid him farewell.”

Black Sam Bellamy was the fourth foal produced by the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine and breed-shaping broodmare Urban Sea, one year the junior of Derby winner and perennial champion sire Galileo.

Black Sam Bellamy in his racing heyday

Trained by Aidan O'Brien for the Coolmore partners he upheld family honour by finishing third in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud at two, taking fifth in the Prix du Jockey Club and landing the Gran Premio del Jockey Club at three, and doubling his Group 1 tally at four when he scorched to an eight-length victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

He was bought as a stallion prospect by German stud Gestut Fahrhof and stood there from 2004 until 2008, and thereafter was leased to Shade Oak Stud.

Those early Flat-bred crops yielded Earl Of Tinsdal, a triple Group 1 winner in Germany and Italy, Daveron, successful in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Handicap, and German Group 3 scorers Goathemala, Saphir and Valdino.

Black Sam Bellamy will be better known in Britain and Ireland for his jumps offspring, though. They include the popular chaser The Giant Bolster, twice placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Sam Spinner, triumphant in last season's Long Walk Hurdle, and useful talents Flute Bowl, Hollies Pearl and Sam's Gunner.

The Giant Bolster: popular chaser is one of the best jumpers by Black Sam Bellamy

Indeed, two prizes at the recent Thoroughbred Breeders' Association National Hunt awards went to progeny of Black Sam Bellamy – Sam Spinner for leading hurdler and Kateson for leading bumper horse.

Thanks in large part to Sam Spinner, but also boosted by several promising young bumper horses and hurdlers, Black Sam Bellamy's profile had risen to new heights this year and his lots at the store sales have been in strong demand.

Stroud Coleman Bloodstock and Jonjo O'Neill gave €100,000 for one of the stallion's sons at Tattersalls Ireland – a best-ever sale price for that gelding's vendor Shade Oak Stud.

Several of his his point-to-pointers have also commanded big prices, with Colin Tizzard paying £170,000 for Boher winner Faustinovick at Aintree in April and Gerry Hogan going to €105,000 for Courtown runner-up Southern Sam at Punchestown later that month.

Sam Spinner: the Long Walk Hurdle winner renewed interest in Black Sam Bellamy

Paying tribute, Hockenhull said: “Black Sam was particularly suited to the production of high-class staying horses, as he transmitted the important qualities of stamina, toughness and determination.

“He had an excellent temperament and was always a lovely horse to deal with. Indeed, he emphasised to me just how important temperament is in a stallion, and that was key to us deciding to stand Telescope and Dartmouth, who are of a similar disposition.

“I'd also like to thank Gestut Fahrhof for entrusting this outstanding horse to us for the last nine years.”

Black Sam Bellamy and Galileo were among four Group/Grade 1 winners produced by the incomparable Urban Sea, along with her later foals My Typhoon and Sea The Stars.

Another sibling to Black Sam Bellamy, Cherry Hinton, was represented by her second Group 1 winner as a dam when daughter Athena landed the Belmont Oaks Invitational on Saturday.


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He was particularly adept at siring high-class staying horses, as he transmitted the important qualities of stamina, toughness and determination
E.W. Terms
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