Sheikh Mohammed's homebred stallion and top miler Mark of Esteem was euthanized following a short illness in England.
The pensioned son of Darshaan, who stood his entire career at the Maktoum family's Dalham Stud near Newmarket, Suffolk, England, was 21.
Mark of Esteem, a flashy bay named for his striking blaze, broke his maiden on his second try as a juvenile under the tutelage of the late Sir Henry Cecil. He later transferred to Saeed bin Suroor at Godolphin and becoming one of that outfit's best runners.
He was highweighted in Europe and England 1996 after an outstanding year that included victories in the Pertemps Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I), and Tripleprint Celebration Mile (Eng-II).
In the QEII, the third leg of jockey Frankie Dettori's 'Magnificent Seven' that day, Mark Of Esteem earned a Timeform rating of 137, the best QEII rating of the 1990s and a record that he held until only Frankel bettered it in 2011.
Mark of Esteem retired to stud in 1997 and enjoyed success at the highest level as a stallion, through his first-crop daughter Ameerat, winner of the 2001 One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) and his son Sir Percy who took the 2006 Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) in a pulsating finish. That season was a remarkable one for Mark Of Esteem, as the stallion was also represented by VC Bet Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) and Betfred Sprint Cup (Eng-I) winner Reverence.
From 10 crops, Mark Of Esteem sired 36 stakes winners, including four group I winners, and 11 group I performers, for total progeny earnings of $27,019,808.
His name lives on in pedigrees of numerous top horses via several sons at stud, including Sir Percy and Redback (both of whom were also placed in the Two Thousand Guineas).
Mark of Esteem's daughters have also produced such greats as St. Leger (Eng-I) winner Masked Marvel, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I) winner Treasure Beach, the speedy Amadeus Wolf, and this year's French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) winner, Avenir Certain.
"Mark Of Esteem was the kindest of horses who was a pleasure to have on the farm," Liam O'Rourke, Darley's stud director, said in a release. "He was born and raised at Kildangan, stood at stud at Dalham Hall and lived out his retirement years in the stallion barn, too. We are lucky enough to have some of his nicest daughters and now grand-daughters in our broodmare band. We are pleased he didn't suffer and he will be greatly missed."
Bred in Ireland, Mark of Esteem is out of the Ajdal mare Homage.