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Grade 1 heroine Royal Delta dies after foaling complications

Her filly by Galileo has survived

Royal Delta: daughter of Empire Maker was a multiple Grade 1 winner
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Multiple Grade 1 winner Royal Delta has died at the age of nine due to complications foaling a filly by Galileo at Coolmore earlier this week.

The daughter of Empire Maker had been retired from racing in 2013 and was sent for a date with the Coolmore supremo for the 2014 breeding season but she did not get in foal. The following year she returned to Galileo but absorbed the foal.

Her visit to the 19-year-old son of Sadler's Wells last year resulted in the surviving bay filly.

Benjamin Leon, her owner, said: "This is a terrible loss for us all. However, we would like to thank the Coolmore team for the outstanding job done through the years, especially to James Mockridge who dealt with Royal Delta on a daily basis. We also appreciate the fine care by veterinarians William Coleman, Paddy Merrigan, Don Hannigan and Ger Kelly.

"I've had many great moments in my life but they and the pleasure that Royal Delta has brought to me and my family is indescribable. She offered us the opportunity to enjoy wonderful places, people and experiences. She was a gift that allowed us many thrilling moments and we will be forever grateful."

Bred by the late Saud bin Khaled's Palides Investments out of the A.P. Indy mare Delta Princess, she was trained by Bill Mott to win the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes and the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic as a three-year-old.

After Khaled's death she was sold at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale as part of the Palides dispersal in 2011. Leon of Besilu Stables struck the winning bid of $8.5 million to secure her.

Her performances at three earned her the Eclipse Award for champion three-year-old. 

For her new owners she went on to land the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational Stakes as well as successfully defending her crown in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at four. At five she landed the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap and the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap.

She was a gift that allowed us many thrilling moments and we will be forever grateful

Key data

Royal Delta
E.W. Terms