European Champion and Sire Dayjur Dead
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Dayjur in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Sprint.
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European champion and sire Dayjur was euthanized Sept. 25 at Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum's Shadwell Farm in Lexington because of the infirmities of old age, according to an announcement from the farm. He was 26 and had been pensioned since 2010.

"Dayjur was one great racehorse. He gave Sheikh Hamdan, and all of us at Shadwell, many great thrills including his shadow-jumping antics in the Breeders’ Cup," said Shadwell vice president Rick Nichols. "He was the cornerstone of our stallion operation, and he was a wonderful horse to be around. He will be deeply missed."

Bred in Kentucky by Georgia Hofmann, Dayjur was by leading sire Danzig out of champion sprinter Gold Beauty. He was purchased at Keeneland July by Sheikh Hamdan for $1.65 million and went to renowned trainer Major R. W. (Dick) Hern to win seven races and finish second three times from 11 starts. Dubbed "the fastest horse in the world" by Racing Post, Dayjur was the Horse of the Year, champion sprinter, and champion 3-year-old in England in 1990, and was the top weight in Europe and champion 3-year-old in France.

Dayjur set a course record winning the Keeneland Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I), won the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (Fr-I) by daylight under 137 pounds, went wire-to-wire in the Ladbroke Sprint Cup (Eng-I), and won Royal Ascot’s King’s Stand Stakes (Eng-II). One of his most memorable performances came in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I). He appeared to be on his way to victory, but jumped a shadow deep in the stretch and finished second by a neck.

Dayjur was retired to stud at Shadwell Farm in 1991. During his career he sired three champions, some 30 stakes winners, more than 60 stakes horses, and is the broodmare sire of a number of major stakes winners as well.

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