Zilzal, England's 1989 Horse of Year who was favored in that year's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), has been pensioned from stud duty because of the lack of demand for his services. The 19-year-old son of Nureyev stood under the banner of Sheikh Maktoum's Gainsborough Stud Management at Kirsten Rausing's Lanwades Stud near Newmarket, England.
A 3-year-old at the time, Zilzal arrived for the Breeders' Cup at Gulfstream Park with an unbeaten record that included victories in such mile stakes as the Swettenham Stud Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) while racing for Sheikh Maktoum's brother-in-law, Sheikh Mana. Unfortunately for his connections, Zilzal sweated profusely during the post parade and failed to break alertly from the gate. He ran sixth as the even-money favorite and was retired. He was both England's Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old.
Zilzal, who won five of his six starts and earned $734,836, entered stud at Gainsborough Stud near Versailles, Ky. He was treated for infertility, but still managed to sire 387 foals from his first 13 crops of racing age. His 18 stakes winners included champions Shaanxi (in France) and Kammtarra (in Dubai) as well as 1998 Sussex Stakes winner Among Men, plus Always Loyal, who won the 1997 Dubai Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I, the French One Thousand Guineas).
Zilzal, who was bred in Kentucky by Kentucky Select Bloodstock and produced from the Le Fabuleux mare French Charmer, is pensioned at Aston Upthorpe Stud near Didcot, England. Sheikh Maktoum's brother, Sheikh Mohammed, operates the farm through his Darley Stud Management.