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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 07:09 GMT 08:09 UK
Owner Sangster dies
ROBERT SANGSTER: 1936-2004
Robert Sangster
Born: 23 May, 1936
Colours: Green, blue sleeves, white cap with green spots
British Classic wins: Six
Derby - 1977 (The Minstrel), 1982 Golden Fleece);
2,000 Guineas - 1983 (Lomond), 1984 (El Gran Senor), 1992 (Rodrigo de Triano;
1,000 Guineas - 1994 (Las Meninas)
Died: 7 April, 2004
Leading racehorse owner Robert Sangster has died at the age of 67 after a long battle with cancer.

Sangster was one of the most well-known owners in Flat racing and had won 27 European Classics.

His famous blue, green and white silks won more than 100 Group One races, including two Derbies with The Minstrel (1977) and Golden Fleece (1982).

The football pools magnate also counted the Breeders' Cup Mile, the Melbourne Cup and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe among his many big-race wins.

Sangster's wealth was believed to run into the hundreds of millions of pounds.

He dated a string of beautiful women including supermodel Jerry Hall and author Tara Moss, and later married Melbourne socialite Susan Renouf.

Born in Liverpool, Sangster began owning racehorses in 1967 but it was his association with legendary Irish trainer Vincent O'Brien that propelled him into the limelight.

He was one of the partners in the Coolmore Stud and travelled around the world buying well-bred yearlings to race and then breed from.

Sadler's Wells, one of the most successful ever stallions, was bred at Sangster's Swettenham Stud.

In 1984, Sangster bought the Manton estate in Wiltshire and over the years installed several trainers there, including Michael Dickinson, Barry Hills, Peter Chapple-Hyam and John Gosden.

He was champion owner five times (1977, 1978, 1982, 1983 and 1984).

The Minstrel and Lester Piggott
He was a great friend and a marvellous person to ride for
Lester Piggott

Sangster's association with Coolmore came to an end but he and O'Brien still hold the world record price for a yearling, having paid $13.1m (7m) for Seattle Dancer in 1985.

O'Brien said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of Sangster's death.

"Robert was a true visionary whose large-scale investment in the best American-bred yearlings in the 70s was one of the principal factors in establishing Ireland and Coolmore as major forces in the bloodstock world," said O'Brien.

"His knowledge of bloodstock was extensive and professional and it was helpful to get his opinion on all aspects of horse management, training and breeding."

Lester Piggott, who rode so many of Sangster's winners, said: "It's a very sad day and the end of an era.

"I've known Robert since the 60s and we had great days and so many great horses. He was a great friend and a marvellous person to ride for."

Although largely involved in the Flat, Sangster also enjoyed a win at the Cheltenham Festival when Nomadic Way won the 1992 Stayers' Hurdle.

Sangster inherited the Vernons soccer pools company built by his father and sold it in 1988 for 90m.

He had five sons from his three marriages and spent most of his latter years in Australia and Barbados.

His last winner came last month when Russian Blue, ridden by Jamie Spencer, won a juvenile race at the Curragh.


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