Legendary stallion Sadler’s Wells dies

Legendary US-bred and 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 30 of natural causes in his paddock at Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary” overnight, reported racingpost.com.

The Northern Dancer stallion sired his 200th stakes winner in 2002 and joined Danehill as the only stallions to exceed 300. He has sired 324 stakes-winners to date. Sadler’s Wells led the English-Irish sire list a record 14 times and also led the French list 4 times.

His initial crop yielded 6 individual Gr1-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”.

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 & his Gr1 English Derby-winning duo Galileo and 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), and Canadian champion Perfect Soul (Ire).

Sadler’s Wells is the broodmare sire of 266 stakes winners through April 25, including champion Conduit (Ire) and French and English highweight Sakhee.

He was retired from stallion duty in May 2008 aged 27 due to declining fertility. At the time of retirement he had sired the winners of 106 European Gr1 races (including 23 Classics in Britain, Ireland and France).

On the track, 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 and 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 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.”


In South Africa Sadlers Wells sons include: Fort Wood (USA); Casey Tibbs (USA); King Of Kings (IRE); Stage Call (IRE).

Sons of sons all represented through Fort Wood include: Horse Chestnut (SAF);  Elusive Fort (SAF); Dynasty (SAF); Whitechapel (SAF)

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