SADLER’S WELLS, one of the most influential stallions of all time, has died at the age of 30.
The son of Northern Dancer and sire of Derby winners Galileo and High Chaparral died in his paddock at Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary on Tuesday evening.
Sadler’s Wells helped to carry Coolmore to a position of global influence during a career at stud that started with a bang and carried on in that vein, leading to 14 sires’ championships in Britain and Ireland.
Sadler’s Wells’s very first crop yielded six individual Group 1 winners and from then on he enjoyed unparalleled success. Highflyer’s age-old record of 13 stallion titles came and went and every single Classic was won by a son or daughter of the bay son of Northern Dancer bred by Robert Sangster’s Swettenham Stud.
Of all the Classics, the Derby at Epsom proved hardest to crack with several near-misses before Galileo romped to victory at Epsomin 2001.
As Sadler’s Wells grew older his sons came to challenge his dominance of the stallion ranks and ultimately succeed him at the head of the field. Sons like Old Vic, Montjeu and his Derby-winning duo all hold high rank among the world’s best sires. Galileo is the sire of red-hot 2,000 Guineas favourite Frankel, who could carry on the legacy in Saturday’s Classic.
Sadler’s Wells also sired one special gelding, Istabraq, the idolised triple winner of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Sadler’s Wells was also a high-class racehorse, trained for Sangster at Ballydoyle in Ireland by Vincent O’Brien. After winning the 1984 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial he followed up in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes and inaugural Phoenix Champion Stakes. He also ran second in the Prix du Jockey Club and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.
He retired to Coolmore Stud in 1984 and lived there until his death, a result of natural causes said a statement issued by the stud.
Christy Grassick, manager at Coolmore said: “He was undoubtedly the best sire Europe has ever seen and through his sons Galileo, Montjeu, High Chaparral and Yeats along with grandsons Hurricane Run and Rip Van Winkle he has left a wonderful legacy at Coolmore and his influence looks set to continue for many years to come.
“We all feel privileged to have been involved with such a special horse.”