Pensioned champion sire Danehill Dancer, who has been retired at Coolmore Stud since 2014 and continues to make his influence felt throughout the breed, was euthanized this weekend due to the infirmities of old age.
Bred by Larry McCreery and Kip McCreery in Ireland, Coolmore agent Demi O'Byrne bought the son of Danehill—Mira Adonde, by Sharpen Up, as a yearling for only 38,000 Irish guineas at Goffs.
He was trained for Michael Tabor by Neville Callaghan to win both the Heinz 57 Phoenix Stakes and the National Stakes (both G1) as a 2-year-old. At 3 he won Tripleprint Greenham Stakes (G3) and placed third in the Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1). Danehill Dancer retired with $343,120 in earnings.
As a sire, Danehill Dancer made a much greater impact in both hemispheres. His stud fee rose from 3,500 Irish guineas in 2000 to a high of €115,000 (over US$120,000) in 2007 and 2008. Breeders who supported him were rewarded with six-figure yearling averages for six consecutive years from 2006 through 2011.
Danehill Dancer became champion sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 2009 and was champion 2-year-old sire on three occasions. He sired 170 (7%) black-type stakes winners worldwide through March 12, of which 93 were graded/group winners and five became champions—Private Steer, 2003 Australian champion 3-year-old filly; Mastercraftsman, Cartier champion 2-year-old colt; Choisir, Australian champion 2-year-old colt; Callwood Dancer, Canadian champion grass mare; and Negra del Oro, Scandanavian champion 2-year-old filly and champion 3-year-old filly.
As a broodmare sire, Danehill Dancer was represented by 58 black-type winners, of which half won graded/group stakes. In a stellar year in 2016 he was responsible for multiple group 1 winners The Gurkha, Minding, and Alice Springs.
As further testament to the demand of his daughters worldwide, he had three sell for more than $1 million on three continents in 2008: Downhill Racer (US$1,761,170) at Inglis, Anna Pavlova (US$1,449,728) at Tattersalls, and Carribean Sunset (US$1,250,000) at Keeneland. His English and German Oaks-winning daughter Dancing Rain lit up the board at the 2013 Tattersalls December mares sale when she sold, in foal to Frankel, for 4 million guineas (US$6,869,100) to John Ferguson out of the Clairemont Stud consignment.
"Danehill Dancer was a wonderful sire and has left a significant legacy at Coolmore through his sons Mastercraftsman and Choisir and grandson Starspangledbanner, while The Gurkha is a very exciting sire prospect for the future," M.V. Magnier said. "His brilliant daughter Legatissimo was scanned in foal to Galileo this morning, and Minding and Alice Springs will be very welcome additions to the broodmare band once they finish their racing careers."