Classic sire and Horse of the Year Holy Bull dies aged 26
Jonabell Farm stallion is the damsire of Caravaggio
Holy Bull, the 1994 American Horse of the Year and sire of 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, has been put down at the age of 26 having succumbed to the infirmities of old age. He had resided at Darley's Jonabell Farm since his retirement to stud in 1995.
Holy Bull was a superb runner for his owner and trainer Warren Croll. He won each of his four starts at two, including the Grade 1 Futurity. But he really came into his own as a three-year-old when his eight wins included five Grade 1 races - the Travers Stakes, Metropolitan Handicap, Haskell Invitational, Woodward Stakes and Florida Derby. As a result, he ended the year as the 1994 Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old colt.
An injury suffered in the Donn Handicap at four restricted him to just two starts and he was retired for the 1996 season to stand at Jonabell Farm.
Godolphin's US president Jimmy Bell, whose family owned Jonabell prior to Sheikh Mohammed’s purchase in 2001, said, "If you were putting together your fantasy horse stable for the last 25 years, you'd have to have Holy Bull in your top five. Horses like Holy Bull just don't come along that often. I've always said, he wasn't a specialist – short, grass, long or dirt - just a fantastic racehorse. You can't mention his name without using such words as 'fighter, determination and guts'. Holy Bull was an icon for our family farm."
At stud his six individual Grade 1 winners include Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, champion and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Macho Uno, now a successful sire, in addition to Flashy Bull. His sire statistics show a 74 per cent lifetime winners-to-starters ratio.
Holy Bull has also made a major impact through his daughters, who have produced over 50 stakes winners including the likes of unbeaten Group 1 winner and Commonwealth Cup contender Caravaggio, Judy The Beauty, Munnings, and Cairo Prince.
Bell added: "I'd also like to send out a special thank you to our stallion crew who have taken such good care of him for all these years, especially Phillip Hampton who was with him since 1995."
Holy Bull will be buried at Jonabell.