Be My Guest, a former leading English/Irish sire, died Feb. 19 at the age of 30. The son of Northern Dancer officially was pensioned prior to last year's breeding season and lived out his last days at Coolmore Stud in Ireland. He sired 78 stakes winners, including 1990 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Go and Go, and his more than 90 stakes winners as a broodmare sire include top international miler and current Coolmore stallion Rock of Gibraltar.
"He's one of the founding fathers of the farm," said spokesman Richard Henry. "He became a hit after his first crop and was re-syndicated internationally. He was one of the first stallions popular enough to breed over a 100 mares (in a season)."
Bred in Kentucky by Walter Haefner, Be My Guest was produced from U.S. champion What a Treat, by the great English miler Tudor Minstrel. Be My Guest sold for 127,000 guineas--a British and European record--as a yearling at the 1975 Goffs sale.
Trained by Vincent O'Brien, Be My Guest won the 1977 Waterford Crystal Mile (Eng-II), Ladbroke Blue Riband Trial Stakes (Eng-III), and Desmond Stakes (Ire-III). His career record came to four wins from seven starts and earnings of $49,421 for owner Diana Manning.
Be My Guest headed the English/Irish sire list with his first runners turned three (in 1982). That group included French champion Assert and English classic winner On the House.
Although two of his stakes wins came at a mile and the other at 7 1/2 furlongs, Be My Guest sired important runners at various distances. As a 3-year-old, Assert won the Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I) and Irish Sweeps Derby (Ire-I), both at 1 1/2 miles, plus the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup (Eng-I) at 10 1/2 furlongs and the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes (Ire-I) at 1 1/4 miles. On the House was a top miler, winning the Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) over males and the One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I).
Another daughter of Be My Guest, Luth Enchantee, beat males in winning the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Fr-I) and Prix Jacques le Marois (Fr-I), both at a mile, and ran third in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at 1 1/2 miles.
Be My Guest's other top runners included Pentire, an English and Irish champion whose big win came in the 1 1/2-mile King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I).