Multiple Group 1 winner and top-class stallion Shamardal dies aged 18
Shamardal, who was unbeaten in all six of his turf starts, including four at the highest level, before going on to have an immensely successful career as a stallion, has died aged 18.
He was euthanised at Kildangan Stud, where he stood as a stallion for more than a decade, following health issues.
A son of Giant's Causeway, Shamardal began his career with Mark Johnston, winning all three starts at two in 2004, culminating in the Dewhurst at Newmarket.
Although his three-year-old campaign began with his only defeat when failing to handle dirt on debut for Saeed bin Suroor at Nad Al Sheba, Shamardal would return to a sparkling level of form for the remainder of his short career.
He won the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas), Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) and St James's Palace Stakes in the space of a month before a career-ending injury led to retirement on the eve of an intended clash with 2005 Derby winner Motivator in the Coral-Eclipse.
Paying tribute, Bin Suroor said: "We were all very sad to hear of the passing of Shamardal. He was a champion two-year-old and became one of Godolphin's best horses, winning two Classics in France as well as the St James's Palace Stakes.
"He went on to establish himself as a top sire, producing exceptional horses throughout the world, and everyone is going to miss him. It is a sad day but I am sure that his progeny will continue his legacy both on the racecourse and in the breeding sheds."
Frankie Dettori was in the saddle for both of Shamardal's Group 1 wins in France, and said: "He wasn't over-big, he was very neat and he was quick. He had the attribute of every great horse and that was his will to win. He was like a Jack Russell. He stuck his head right down and gave you 110 per cent.
"He was a great horse for the industry and was a great stallion. He's a massive loss for the industry but left a big print on the racing world."
Mark Johnston oversaw Shamardal's first season on the track, and added: "We didn't have him for very long, only from a yearling to the end of his two-year-old career, but he left a big mark on the place. As he did for everyone as a stallion as well.
"His two-year-old season with us was absolutely incredible. He came at a time when Attraction was here as a three-year-old, she was already the horse of a lifetime and it was quite remarkable to have something like him at the place at the same time.
"Although we only ran Shamardal three times, it was very much a case of not worrying about what turned up so long as he turned up. He was a really exceptional racehorse, the best of his generation without a doubt."
At stud Shamardal would prove to be an incredible source of top-class winners for Godolphin's breeding arm, Darley.
Standing at Kildangan Stud in Ireland, Shamardal produced 25 individual Group 1 winners, including Pinatubo, Blue Point, Able Friend and Mukhadram.
Sam Bullard, director of stallions at Darley, said: "Shamardal has been the mainstay of our Irish stallion roster for many years and will be sorely missed by the team at Kildangan.
"His record as a sire speaks for itself and we have enjoyed many great days on the racecourse courtesy of his sons and daughters. Led by the imperious Pinatubo, Shamardal's juvenile crop of last year was truly outstanding siring three unbeaten Group 1-winning juvenile colts, a feat never achieved before since the start of the Pattern."
Read this next:
Keep up to date on the must-have news, tips, photos and more by following the Racing Post across all social channels