Great Australian sire Encosta De Lago dies at 25
Son of Fairy King supplied 26 individual Group 1 winners
Champion Coolmore Australia stallion Encosta De Lago has died at the age of 25.
The former Lee Freedman-trained Group 1 winner, who started his stud career at Blue Gum Farm in Victoria, has left a lasting legacy on the Australian thoroughbred industry as a sire of elite racehorses and also through his daughters as a broodmare sire.
In all, Encosta De Lago has to date sired 114 stakes winners including 26 at Group 1 level.
His death comes on the heels of the retirement of one of his most popular sons Chautauqua, a six-time Group 1 winner.
Other champion performers by the stallion include Alinghi, English, Racing To Win, Manhattan Rain, Northern Meteor and Sacred Kingdom.
Encosta De Lago was also a champion Australian broodmare sire for the past three seasons, with his daughters being the dams of the likes of Group 1 winners Happy Clapper (Teofilo) and Impending (Lonhro), who was retired to Darley in Victoria as a stallion this year.
“Encosta will be greatly missed by all who dealt with him at Coolmore over the last 14 years,” Coolmore Australia principal Tom Magnier said.
“He was a horse with a beautiful nature and we were incredibly lucky to have him. His legacy will live on through his sire line descendants like Zoustar and Rubick, as well as through his daughters, who have already made him champion broodmare sire.”
Encosta De Lago had his first start in the Debutant Stakes as an early season two-year-old at Caulfield in October 1995 when finishing third. He also ran third in the Maribyrnong Plate that November.
He did not race again during his juvenile season, but returned to win the Group 2 Ascot Vale Stakes in September 1996, which is now when the Danehill Stakes is run at Flemington, before claiming the Vic Health Cup that same month.
Encosta De Lago raced just a further three times that spring to claim the Bill Stutt Stakes and was retired after finishing unplaced in the Salinger Stakes at Flemington.
He started his stud career in 1997 at Blue Gum Farm near Euroa in Victoria but after six years, he had become such a valuable commodity, his early progeny including star filly Alinghi, that he was secured by Coolmore Australia where he stood from 2003 until 2014.
He was pensioned at the end of 2014, but was paraded annually at Coolmore’s Hunter Valley stallion parade each August and had appeared content again in front of a large crowd last August.