Irish-based Coolmore Stud announced May 12 that legendary sire Sadler’s Wells is to be retired from stud duties due to declining fertility. The 27-year-old son of Northern Dancer will remain at Coolmore, where he has stood since retiring to stud for the 1985 season.
Sadler’s Wells was the leading sire in England and Ireland a record-breaking 14 times, including 13 years in succession (1992-2004).
“I think Sadler’s Wells is generally acknowledged as the best sire Europe has ever seen, and we feel very privileged to have been associated with him,” said Coolmore manager Christy Grassick. “Despite his advancing years, he is still in remarkably good condition, and I hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement. His influence will be felt for many years to come, and in Galileo, Montjeu, and High Chaparral we are delighted to have his three best sons at Coolmore.”
Sadler’s Wells has sired 295 stakes winners, second to the 347 sired by deceased Coolmore stallion Danehill. Sadler’s Wells is closing in on the 200 mark by number of stakes winners as a broodmare sire. One of his recent representatives, Henrythenavigator, won the May 3 Stanjamesuk.com Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I).
Bred in Kentucky by Robert Sangster’s Swettenham Stud and Partners, Sadler’s Wells raced for Sangster, winning such events at 3 in 1984 as the Airlie Coolmore Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I), Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I), and Phoenix Champion Stakes (Ire-I). In France, where he ran second in that year’s Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I), he was a champion miler. He was trained by Vincent O’Brien, father-in-law of Coolmore managing partner John Magnier.
In addition to dominating Europe with wave after wave of group I winners and champions, Sadler’s Wells achieved plenty of fame in North America. His offspring have won a record six Breeders’ Cup (gr. I) events, including the 2003 John Deere Turf, in which High Chaparral finished in a deadheat for first. They also won two runnings of the Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT). A son of Sadler’s Wells, El Prado, was leading sire in 2002 and second the next two years.
Sadler’s Wells is out of the Bold Reason mare Fairy Bridge, whose half-brother Nureyev also was a champion and major sire.