Courtesy Martin Cáp/Vaclav Volf

Top Czech Sprinter Mikesh Retired to Stud

The 9-year-old son of Majestic Missile will stand for Josef PÅ¡urný in Moravia.

Mikesh, who has been the Czech Republic's best sprinter the past few years and popular with racing fans, has been retired to stud, according to his connections.

The Irish-bred, 9-year-old son of Majestic Missile (IRE)—Avena Sativa (IRE), by Polish Precedent, will be based with Josef Pšurný in Moravia. A stud fee has not been set yet.

Mikesh is the namesake of Mikeš, a famous talking cat from a fairy tale by writer/painter Josef Lada, who also illustrated Jaroslav Hašek's famous World War I novel "The Good Soldier Schweik." The horse's name and his unusual background attracted a following as the people's horse, according to Martin Cáp, a Czech journalist and race commentator.

Bred by Irishman Kevin Foley, the bay colt was purchased for a mere €1,800 as an unbroken 2-year-old, according to Cáp. Contrary to many of Mikesh's peers, he was not based in a professional racing stable, but trained by his owner in fields and meadows near the South-Bohemian town of Tabor, renowned for its Hussite past. The horse's popularity contributed to Majestic Missile being imported to the Czech Republic.

Mikesh compiled an 8-8-8 record out of 37 starts and earned €65,000 ($27,857). Besides easily winning all the major races in his home country over six furlongs, he scored four black-type placings in Germany and Italy. He was the first Czech-trained horse to race in the 2015 Goldene Peitsche powered by Burda@turf DREIERWETT (G2) at Baden Baden, but his favorite track was the straight course at Hoppegarten in Berlin, where he placed three years in a row in listed stakes races.

"In my view, he was the best East European sprinter since Overdose," said the German champion jockey Filip Minarik, who rode Mikesh for owner Kelso Stables and trainer Tomáš Šatra.