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Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 17:29 UK

Champ sire Sadler's Wells retires

Legendary sire Sadler's Wells is to be retired from stud duties at the age of 27 because of declining fertility.

The decision was made by the team at Coolmore Stud, where the 14-time champion sire remains in retirement.

Coolmore manager Christy Grassick said: "I think Sadler's Wells is generally acknowledged as the best sire Europe's ever seen and we feel very privileged.

"Despite his advancing years, he is still in remarkably good condition and I hope he enjoys a happy retirement."

When Old Vic won the Irish Derby in 1989, he chalked up the first of 106 European Group 1 winners for horses sired by Sadler's Wells.

Among other winners, Galileo picked up the 2001 Epsom Derby and High Chaparral captured the same race the following year, before twice winning the Breeders' Cup Turf race in America.

Montjeu won the Irish Derby, the French Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1999 and has already sired two Epsom Derby winners himself, including Authorized, victorious in 2007.

His legacy will live on through his sons and daughters and their sons and daughters

Ben Sangster

Sadler's Wells many offspring also include the triple Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq, who won 23 of his 29 races and well over 1m in prize money.

Although foaled in the United States, he achieved his racing and breeding fame in Europe.

Trained by Vincent O'Brien, he had a successful racing career - as a three-year-old in 1984 he won the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Eclipse Stakes. In all he won six of his 11 starts as a top-class racehorse

But it was as a sire that he achieved his fame, and much of the Coolmore empire is founded on his success.

Sadler's Wells ran in the colours of the late Robert Sangster, whose son Ben said: "He was a phenomenal horse.

"His record as a stallion is unbelievable and it is the end of a very distinguished career.

"His legacy will live on through his sons and daughters and their sons and daughters."

see also
Well bred but lower class
23 Aug 02 |  Horse Racing
Sadler's Wells breeds success
08 Jun 01 |  Epsom Derby
Horse racing on the BBC
14 Mar 08 |  Horse Racing
Quiz the racing team
29 Mar 07 |  Horse Racing

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