Old favourite Bellotto dies in Australia at 33
Son of Mr Prospector was placed in the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby
His owner has the horse of the moment in Arrogate but will doubtless be among many whose thoughts are turned to another era by news of the death, at the grand old age of 33, of Bellotto. Born the year Secreto beat El Gran Senor at Epsom, Bellotto was placed in both the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby before embarking on a lengthy and prolific stud career in Australia.
By Mr Prospector out of Shelf Talker, also dam of Grade 1 winner Header Card, Bellotto was trained for Prince Khalid Abdullah by Jeremy Tree. Winner of a Newbury maiden and the Acomb Stakes at two, he started second favourite for the Guineas and finished well to chase home Don't Forget Me. He then lost out to Most Welcome in a photo for second in the Derby, beaten a length and a half by Reference Point.
He was later trained by John Gosden in the US, before retiring to Arrowfield in 1989. At a time when Australian studs did not have routine access to such horses through the shuttling of stallions, he sired over 1,000 foals including 45 stakes winners - and six at Group 1 level.
Three times leading sire in South Australia, Bellotto was also an influential broodmare sire, featuring as damsire of Queensland Oaks scorer Miss Danehill and New Zealand Derby hero Coniston Bluebird.
He later transferred to Paumah Stud, which changed name and ownership a number of times afterwards. But Bellotto remained a constant, the former belligerence of his temper reportedly soothed, at one stage, by the company of a particular sheep. Though it is rare for thoroughbreds to survive beyond 30, it was only on Sunday that his remarkably long life finally came to a peaceful end.