Champion and prominent Australian sire Canny Lad, broodmare sire of leading sire Redoute's Choice, was euthanized recently at Darley's Woodlands Stud, where he was a pensioner. He was 26.
Canny Lad was Australia's champion 2-year-old of 1989-90, winning six of seven starts, including the 1990 Golden Slipper (Aus-I) and VRC Sires' Produce Stakes (Aus-I). As a 3-year-old old, he finished third in the W. S. Cox Plate (Aus-I), Australia's premier weight-for age race. Overall, he won eight of 15 career starts for trainer Rick Hore-Lacy, and earned more than Aus$2 million.
"A sad day for racing; he was a great racehorse, absolutely one of the best I have trained and a great type," Hore-Lacy said about Canny Lad.
Retired to stud in 1991, Canny Lad sired 54 stakes winners, including 10 at the group I level. His progeny amassed purse earnings of more than Aus$53 million. His group I winners include New Zealand champion sprinter and miler Calveen, Republic Lass, Accomplice, Dodge, Ancient Song, Allez Suez, Preserve, He's No Pie Eater, and Small Minds.
Canny Lad also was outstanding as a broodmare sire, with Arrowfield Stud's Redoute's Choice, a multiple group I winner and two-time leading sire (2006 and 2010), the most notable among offspring produced by his daughters. He was recently represented in the category by AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (Aus-I) winner River Lad among 11 group I winners from his daughters.
By Bletchingly out of Jesmond Lass, by Lunchtime, Canny Lad was one of the last and most successful representatives of the Star Kingdom male line. Star Kingdom was one of Australia's most influential sire influences.
"Canny Lad and his relations have had a significant impact on Darley's fortunes both on the racecourse and at our stud farms since Sheikh Mohammed purchased Woodlands in 2008," said Darley Australia's managing director Henry Plumptre.
Canny Lad was retired from active duty in 2011 and has spent the past few years in a paddock with another champion, Octagonal. He will be buried at Woodlands.
Stuart McKay, Darley's head stallion man at the time, recalled Canny Lad as "the consummate professional" in the breeding shed. "He taught a number of good stallion men their trade, because he was problem free and a machine in the shed."