Successful Irish stallion Marju, the sire of five-time group I winner Soviet Song and Hong Kong Horses of the Year Viva Pataca and Indigenous among more than 50 black-type winners, has died at the age of 28, Derrinstown Stud in County Kildare announced Oct. 11.
A son of Last Tycoon who passed away of natural causes, Marju had been pensioned from stud duty since 2011 at the farm owned by Sheikh Hamdan.
A three-quarters brother to the outstanding filly Salsabil (by Sadler's Wells), Marju proved a proficient miler when taking the 1991 St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot. His record also includes a victory in that year's Charles Heidsieck Champagne Craven Stakes (Eng-III) prior to a runner-up finish in the Eveready Epsom Derby (Eng-I) for owner Sheikh Hamdan and trainer John Dunlop.
Marju was retired to Derrinstown at the end of his 3-year-old season and was immediately successful, getting English and French group I winner My Emma and 1996 Prix de Diane (Fr-I, French Oaks) victress Sil Sila in his first crop.
Overall, 12 of his offspring won at the highest level, including Irish classic winner, Bethrah, Lightening Pearl, and Marbye in Europe; Chinchon in the United States and Singapore; and Marju Snip in Australia, where he had shuttled. His progeny from 20 crops amassed purse earnings of more than $69.9 million, accoring to The Jockey Club statistics.
Marju was bred in Ireland by Pat O'Kelly of Kilcarn Stud. His dam is English and Irish group II winner Flame of Tara (by Artaius), the producer of five stakes winners, including Salsibil, who in 1990 became the first filly in 90 years to win the Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I). She also won the Gold Seal Epsom Oaks and General Accident One Thousand Guineas (both Eng-I).