Death of Sunday Break, sire of Never On Sunday, aged 18
Son of Forty Niner was standing at Haras de la Barbottiere in France
Sunday Break, a Japanese-bred horse who was a high-class performer in the US, died at stud in France on Sunday.
The son of Forty Niner, who was 18, suffered from a suspected aneurysm or heart attack in his first season standing at Haras de la Barbottiere.
Leading Japanese owner Koji Maeda bred Sunday Break at his North Hills Management operation. The dam, the Storm Cat mare Catequil, also produced Japanese Derby hero Kizuna and champion three-year-old filly and older mare Phalaenopsis.
Maeda sent Sunday Break to be trained by Neil Drysdale in the US, where he won the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes and finished third in the Wood Memorial Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
Upon retirement, Sunday Break started his stallion career at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky, where he stood for three seasons before moving to Walmac International.
His first crop threw up the French-bred Never On Sunday, winner of the Prix d'Ispahan and third in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, and later runner-up in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.
Never On Sunday's success led to the import of Sunday Break from Kentucky to France and he stood at Haras de Grandcamp before stints at Haras de le Haie Neuve, Haras du Lion and finally Barbottiere.
Among the best runners Sunday Break sired in France are Frankyfourfingers, a close relation to Never On Sunday who struck in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2; Cavale Doree, who won the Group 3 Prix du Calvados and finished third to New Money Honey in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last year; and Danza Cavallo, a Listed winner in France who later finished second in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Stakes.
Sunday Break is also the sire of Orsippus, who sprang a surprise by landing the Grade 1 Anniversary 4yo Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.
He reportedly covered 103 mares in 2015 but missed much of last year's breeding season due to injury.