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One of the greatest thoroughbred stallions of all time, Sadler’s Wells, has died aged 30 of natural causes at Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary, Ireland.

Sadler’s Wells, who was also a successful racehorse when trained by the legendary Vincent O’Brien, was champion sire 14 times in Great Britain and Ireland.

On the track he won the Irish 2000 Guineas and two other Group Ones, the Eclipse Stakes and the Irish Champion Stakes, all in 1984.

Among the stars he sired were 1999 Arc de Triomphe champion Montjeu, 2001 Epsom Derby winner Galileo, 2002 Epsom Derby and Irish Derby winner and two-time Breeders Cup Turf conqueror High Chaparral and four-time Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats.

All bar Montjeu were trained by Aidan O’Brien at the Ballydoyle Stables where Sadler’s Wells lived during his racing career.

Coolmore Stud manager Christy Grassick said he had been a phenomenon.

“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,” Grassick said.

Ben Sangster, son of the late Robert Sangster in whose colours Sadler’s Wells raced, said the horse who had been retired from his stallion role in 2008, was a once in a lifetime sire.

“It’s the end of an era. It is the most phenomenal record for any horse to be champion sire 14 times – a record that is likely to remain unequalled,” he said.

Pat Eddery, a regular partner of Sadler’s Wells in his racing career, had no doubts as to where he lay in terms of the greatest stallion list.

“He was a hell of a good racehorse. He was a very tough horse with a great pedigree.

“He probably was the best sire of them all.”

Foaled in the United States, Sadler’s Wells was also crowned champion sire in France three times, and once in North America, producing over 293 stakes winners and 74 individual Group One winners.


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