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Legendary Coolmore Sire Sadler's Wells Dies Aged 30
Legendary US-bred & Irish-based stallion Sadler's Wells (Northern Dancer-Fairy Bridge, by Bold Reason) "one of the most influential stallions of all time, has died at the age of 30 of natural causes in his paddock at Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary" overnight, reported racingpost.com. Sadler's Wells (who has sired 323 stakes-winners to date) "helped to carry Coolmore to a position of global influence during a career at stud that started with a bang & carried on in that vein, leading to 14 sires championships in Britain & Ireland". His initial crop yielded 6 individual Gr1-winners & "from then on he enjoyed unparalleled success: Highflyer's age-old record of 13 stallion titles came & went & every single Classic was won by a son or daughter of the bay son of Northern Dancer bred by Robert Sangster's Swettenham Stud". As Sadler's Wells grew older his sons "came to challenge his dominance of the stallion ranks & ultimately succeed him at the head of the field: sons like Old Vic, Montjeu & his Gr1 English Derby-winning duo Galileo & High Chaparral all hold high rank among the world's best sires". Among the many star racehorses sired by Sadler's Wells were In The Wings (US Gr1 Breeders' Cup Turf), Salsabil (Gr1 English 1000 Guineas, Gr1 English Oaks, Gr1 Irish Derby), Barathea (US Gr1 Breeders' Cup Mile), Entrepreneur (Gr1 English 2000 Guineas), Kayf Tara (UK Gr1 Gold Cup twice), Dream Well (French Gr1 Prix du Jockey Club, Gr1 Irish Derby), Imagine (Gr1 Irish 1000 Guineas, Gr1 English Oaks), Islington (US Gr1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf) & Yeats (UK Gr1 Gold Cup 4 times). Sadler's Wells was retired from stallion duty in May 2008 aged 27 due to declining fertility "having held sway over the breed for 20 years". At the time of retirement he had sired the winners of 106 European Gr1 races (including 23 Classics in Britain, Ireland & France). On the track himself, Sadler's Wells (trained for Sangster at Ballydoyle in Ireland by Vincent O'Brien) won the 1984 Irish Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, followed by the Gr1 Irish 2000 Guineas, UK Gr1 Eclipse Stakes & inaugural Gr1 Phoenix Champion Stakes; he also ran 2nd in the French Gr1 Prix du Jockey Club & UK Gr1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes; when he retired to stud in 1985 he was rated at 132 by Timeform. Coolmore manager Christy Grassick commented: "He was undoubtedly the best sire Europe has ever seen & through his sons Galileo, Montjeu, High Chaparral & Yeats along with grandsons Hurricane Run & Rip Van Winkle, he has left a wonderful legacy at Coolmore & his influence looks set to continue for many years to come."