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Stoute pays tribute to King's Best following Guineas hero's death aged 22

King's Best stretches clear in the 2,000 Guineas under Kieren Fallon
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Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has described 2,000 Guineas hero and highly successful stallion King's Best as a "class act" following the news on Tuesday he had died aged 22.

A son of Kingmambo, King's Best's racing career was brief but dazzling, with his stunning performance at Newmarket in 2000 the highlight.

Stoute said: "He was as talented a miler as I've ever trained. He had a great turn of foot and put up an extraordinary performance in the 2,000 Guineas. What happened in the Irish Derby after that was unfortunate. He was a class act." 

Following a winning debut on Newmarket's July course, King's Best made all in impressive fashion in the Acomb Stakes at York, but his juvenile campaign finished on a low note when he came home last of five in the Dewhurst behind Distant Music.

A free-going sort, King's Best again pulled hard on his seasonal return in the Craven, when he finished second to Umistim. But those tendencies vanished in the Guineas, as Kieren Fallon produced a majestic ride to blast past Giant's Causeway and win by three and a half lengths.

Fallon was able to hold up King's Best in the pack, and once the pair made their way through traffic they shot clear.

King's Best was owned by Saeed Suhail, and Bruce Raymond, then racing manager to Suhail, praised Stoute's training of the colt.

He said on Tuesday: "He was a very good horse. Sir Michael Stoute did a wonderful job training him as he was delicate and not straightforward. He then proved to be a very good stallion."

Following the Guineas success King's Best made it to the track only once more in the Irish Derby, his sixth start and in which he was pulled up early on with what would prove a career-ending injury.

His premature retirement meant the true depth of his talent was never determined, but King's Best proved a hit as a stallion, with 2010 Derby and Arc winner Workforce his most successful progeny.

King's Best, who has sired eight top-level winners, proved a great servant to Darley, standing in Argentina, Australia, France, Ireland and Japan, where he was retired from stallion duties this year. He was put down at Darley in Japan following complications due to colic.

King's Best in numbers

22 age
1 Classic victory
3 wins
3 jockeys (Kieren Fallon, Gary Stevens, Pat Eddery)
top-flight winners sired
5 countries where he stood as a stallion

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He was as talented a miler as I've ever trained. He had a great turn of foot and put up an extraordinary performance in the 2,000 Guineas
E.W. Terms