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Irish Thoroughbred Breeding



Danehill Dancer / Coolmore (p)

Danehill Dancer / Coolmore (p)

(Danehill - Mira Adonde)

Coolmore Stud has announced that Danehill Dancer (Ire) (Danehill - Mira Adonde, by Sharpen Up) has been retired from stud duties. Coolmore stated that 21-year-old’s fertility has been declining steadily over the past number of years and he failed to impregnate any mares this covering season.

In his 16 crops, Danehill Dancer sired five champions, 81 graded black-type winners and 154 black-type winners with total earnings of $118,627,252. Amongst his top progeny are Mastercraftsman (Ire) - winner of the G1 St. James’s Palace Stakes - and Choisir (Aus) - Champion 2-Year-Old Colt in Australia, who have both become successful sires in their own right. The dual Group 1 winner was Champion Sire in Britain and Ireland in 2009 and Champion Sire of 2-Year-Olds on three occasions.

“Danehill Dancer has been a terrific stallion over the years,” said Coolmore’s Christy Grassick. “Starting out at a lowly fee he continually upgraded his mares and ultimately became a major force in European and Australian breeding. From 2010 onwards he began to show declining fertility, but his continued success on the racecourse, in particular Dancing Rain’s 2011 Epsom Oaks victory, encouraged breeders to remain loyal to him. We would like to thank all those breeders who persevered with him in the full knowledge that their mare might eventually be switched to another stallion.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News


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St Nicholas Abbey Horse
St Nicholas Abbey Horse

St Nicholas Abbey - Tribute To A Hero / Paddy Power (p)


Montjeu - Leaping Water

St Nicholas Abbey, one of the most successful racehorses of the past decade, following a months-long battle against laminitis after a career-ending injury last summer, was euthanized Tuesday morning after suffering a colic attack.

“Regretfully St Nicholas Abbey has lost his brave battle after suffering a colic this morning. Surgery revealed a severe strangulating colon torsion that was unviable and he had to be euthanized on humane grounds,” said a release from Coolmore. “This is extremely unfortunate as St Nicholas Abbey had been in terrific form, the laminitis was resolving very well and the fracture had healed better than expected. Coolmore would like to thank the surgeons, the international experts and all the staff at Fethard Equine Hospital who gave him such excellent care 24/7. We would also like to thank the multitude of well-wishers for all the cards and messages of support for St Nicholas Abbey. He will be buried in the graveyard here at Coolmore.”

A 200,000gns purchase out of the 2008 Tattersalls October Sale, St Nicholas Abbey swept his three starts at two, including the Grade 2 Beresford Stakes and Grade 1 Racing Post Trophy, but disappointed when sixth in a lone sophomore appearance in the Grade 1 English 2000 Guineas. He bounced back in 2011 to win the Grade 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom and capped the season with a memorable 2 1/4-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf for the father-and-son team of Aidan and Joseph O’Brien. Runner-up in the 2012 Grade 1 Dubai Sheema Classic, St Nicholas Abbey successfully defended his title in the Coronation Cup and was perfect in two starts at six in 2013, defeating Gentildonna (Jpn) (Deep Impact) in the Dubai Sheema Classic before a third straight success in the Coronation Cup before a huge Derby-day crowd at Epsom Downs. He was preparing for a start in the Grade 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last July when he suffered a fractured pastern in a routine piece of work. He retired with 9 wins from 21 starts and earnings of $7,865,416.

St Nicholas Abbey underwent a delicate and lengthy procedure to repair the injury, but had to go into emergency colic surgery soon after and subsequently developed laminitis in his left front foot. As recently as 4 January, there were reports that maggot therapy was proving successful against the laminitis and that signs of new hoof growth were evident.

Joseph O’Brien, who piloted St Nicholas Abbey in his last 12 races, paid this tribute.

“He was a horse I’ll never forget. He gave us at Ballydoyle some great days and over a mile and a half, on good ground, he would have given any horse in the world a run for their money,” he said. “His win in Dubai last year was possibly his best performance and he was probably better than ever last year. But from my point of view winning on him at the Breeders’ Cup was very special. It was my first big win on the world stage and my first big win outside Ireland. What happened to him was very sad. Everyone would have liked to see him stand at stud.”

Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News and Racing Post

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Chicquita Goffs
Chicquita Goffs

Chicquita sets all-time record (€6 million) for any horse sold at auction in Ireland

(Photo : Goffs)

“At €6 million (around R87 million!), Chicquita had set

an all-time record for any horse sold at auction in Ireland”

There’s been a lot of ambitious talk in sporting circles this week, Chad le Clos laying down the gauntlet for Michael Phelps’ world records and Olympic medals, and Jake White prophesying that the Sharks would win the Super 15. The former has time on his hands, and the latter has a record, so both predictions are believable.

At the tender age of 21, Le Clos already boasts an Olympic victory over Phelps, while White picked up a lost-looking Springbok team and took them to World Cup glory in 2007. What he did with the Brumbies last year was almost in the same league. That said, in the world of racing, we’re not talking about ambitions, we’re citing realities. The sales ring at Goffs was in in thrall when the Irish Oaks winner Chicquita entered the ring on Friday, and she didn’t disappointment. Peter and Ross Doyle (“regulars” in South Africa at Summerhill) locked horns in a protracted battle with James McHale, with the Doyles eventually prevailing for a “very good long-term client”. The Classic heroine was the last into the ring in Australian Paul Makins’ draft, and echoing the audacious bidding style of Makin himself, McHale leapt straight into the fray, opening the bidding at €3 million. In a game of high-stakes ping-pong, Doyle exchanged fire with McHale tucked out of sight on auctioneer Henry Beeby’s right, where he was responding to telephonic instructions. Questioned in the wake of the sale as to why he should sell a filly of such enormous distinction, Makin, famed for his sense of sales ring theatre, said he was “selling on the sizzle”. At €6 million (around R87 million!), Chicquita had set an all-time record for any horse sold at auction in Ireland, and as far as our memories serve us, this is an European record for a filly-in-training.

The sobering thing is, with that sort of dosh, you could buy up most of our valley (not including Summerhill of course!) but it just goes to show what this game can do to a rich man’s pocket.

On the other side of the world, the Yoshida family’s Shadai Stallion Station is on the verge of a new world record. A glance at the latest stallion rankings in Japan tells us that no fewer than 14 of the top 15 in the list are resident at the farm, a level of dominance we don’t recall anywhere, not even at Ireland’s Coolmore Stud. Given the size and wealth of Japanese racing, it’s an astonishing achievement, even allowing for the fact that the Yoshidas have been in business for many decades, and have been the dominant force for most of that time. Given that ten of those fourteen are sons of Sunday Silence, the challenge for Shadai going forward, has to be the discovery of the next great foil for this enormous vortex of the blood of the greatest influence any stallion has ever exerted on a domestic sires list.




Earnings ¥

Earnings ZAR


Deep Impact

Sunday Silence




King Kamehameha





Symboli Kris S

Kris S




Daiwa Major

Sunday Silence





French Deputy




Heart’s Cry

Sunday Silence




Manhattan Cafe

Sunday Silence




Gold Allure

Sunday Silence




Stay Gold

Sunday Silence




Neo Universe

Sunday Silence




Fuji Kiseki

Sunday Silence




Agnes Tachyon

Sunday Silence




Jungle Pocket

Tony Bin




South Vigorous

End Sweep




Zenno Rob Roy

Sunday Silence



Editor’s note:Deep Impact’s daughter Gentildonna further cemented her sire’s status as the reigning “king” of Japanese stallions, when she made history on Sunday at the Tokyo racecourse by becoming the first horse (and filly) to win back-to-back runnings of the notoriously tough Japan Cup (Gr.1). This win takes Gentildonna’s earnings to 1 billion Yen, and makes her the third most successful female racehorse of all time behind Buena Vista (1.39 billion yen) and Vodka (1.35 billion yen).