Leading international sire Sadler's Wells died of natural causes the afternoon of April 26 at Coolmore Stud in Ireland where he has resided since retiring to stud in 1984.
Coolmore manager Christy Grassick said: “He was undoubtedly the best sire Europe has ever seen and through his sons Galileo, Montjeu, High Chaparral and Yeats along with grandsons Hurricane Run and Rip Van Winkle he has left a wonderful legacy at Coolmore and his influence looks set to continue for many years to come. We all feel privileged to have been involved with such a special horse.”
Sadler's Wells was retired from stud duty in May 2008 due to declining fertility.
The 30-year-old son of Northern Dancer was 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.
Sadler’s Wells was the leading sire in England and Ireland a record-breaking 14 times, including 13 years in succession (1992-2004). He has sired 323 stakes winners to date.
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 was out of the Bold Reason mare Fairy Bridge, whose half-brother Nureyev also was a champion and major sire.