Montjeu, a Cartier Award winner and an outstanding sire at John Magnier and partners' Coolmore Stud in Ireland, died March 29 after a short illness due to complications from septicemia, an infection in the bloodstream. He was 16.
“The sire of three Epsom Derby winners including last year’s brilliant winner Pour Moi, as well as Camelot, the favorite for this year’s edition, Montjeu was one of the best stallions in the world and in 2011 he sired 15 individual group/graded winners in the Northern Hemisphere, which was the equal of (fellow Coolmore stallion) Galileo,” Coolmore said in a statement. “Montjeu will best be remembered for his incredible wins in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes as well as his runaway victories in the French and Irish Derbys (both group I).”
Montjeu won the Arc (Fr-I) at 3 in 1999, the year he earned a Cartier Award as best 3-year-old male, and the King George (Eng-I) in 2000.
Mick Kinane rode Montjeu in several major events. “He was a really outstanding racehorse--one of the few outstanding racehorses I've ridden,” he said, according to the Weatherbys site. “That King George win was pretty good all right. He treated them with contempt that day, and it was just a privilege to be on board.”
“He had some other good performances in the Irish Derby and the Arc, and he's obviously going to be sadly missed. He had an aura about him and a few issues, and the great horses he's sired have all had that as well--that's what's made them great. His fillies have been much better of late as well and I think he's going to end up being an outstanding broodmare stallion. He's going to leave a big hole in racing.”
Montjeu has sired 112 stakes winners and the earners of more than $84 million. His other major winners include Hurricane Run, Fame and Glory, and 2011 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner St Nicholas Abbey.
Bred in Ireland by Sir J. Goldsmith, Montjeu is one of two stakes winners out of French champion Floripedes (by Top Ville).