Messara credits Flying Spur with building Arrowfield Stud brand
The son of Danehill died on Tuesday night at the age of 25
John Messara has paid tribute to champion stallion and 1995 Golden Slipper Stakes winner Flying Spur, who died early on Wednesday morning at the age of 25, crediting him with helping to build the Arrowfield Stud brand.
The three-time Group 1 winner, who has sired 99 individual stakes winners, had been euthanised after he was found lying in his paddock and unable to stand up.
Trained by Lee Freedman, the son of Danehill won the Golden Slipper for jockey Glen Boss at his seventh start, defeating champion Octagonal and Millrich, the dam of star sprinter Redzel.
Bred and raced by a syndicate including Messara, Flying Spur subsequently retired to Chatswood Stud in Victoria in 1996 at the end of his three-year-old career before joining the Arrowfield roster a year later.
Messara said Flying Spur’s stud career had played a pivotal role in the growth of the Hunter Valley-based Arrowfield Stud before it rose to a new level under fellow champion sire Redoute’s Choice.
“Flying Spur won a Slipper, an All Aged and the Australian Guineas. He was a very good, tough racehorse more than anything,” said Messara.
“At stud he actually sustained us for a number of years, 20-something years ago. He won a championship and sired some bloody good horses and today he lives on through his fillies as he is a very good broodmare sire.”
Flying Spur went on to be the sire of 13 individual Group 1 winners and was crowned champion sire in Australia in 2007, the same year his John Hawkes-trained daughter Forensics won the Golden Slipper.
Two of Flying Spur’s Group 1 winners, Magnus and Casino Prince, are Group 1-producing stallions in their own right, and he is one of seven Golden Slipper winners to go on and sire the winner of the two-year-old showpiece.
However, it is as a broodmare sire that Flying Spur has arguably left his greatest mark, being responsible for 76 stakes winners.
They include the dams of top-flight winners Delago Deluxe, Grand Journey, Headway, Preferment, Sebring, Shillelagh and Speak Fondly.
Freedman said Flying Spur showed the attributes of a Group 1-quality horse and potential stallion from the time he was an early two-year-old when winning a three-horse race at Caulfield in November 2004.
“He was a very quirky horse, hard to train, but on his day was a top-class two-year-old and then at three he came back and won the All Aged,” said Freedman.
“He was a very good horse. He had the physique, the pedigree and the performance to go on and make a good stallion and he did that, too. He made his mark, that horse.”
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