Racing Salutes The Mighty Sadler’s Wells

News of the death at the age of 30 of the outstanding thoroughbred stallion Sadler’s Wells has been received with sadness by racing fans across the globe as well as the international bloodstock industry, writes Elliot Slater.

The singularly most influential sire of sires and broodmares in the last 20 years passed away due to natural causes at his stables at the Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary, Ireland, where he stood as a stallion for more than 20 years before retiring at the grand old age of 27, due to reduced fertility. The 14-times champion sire provided the base from which the mighty Coolmore racing and breeding empire has developed having been originally owned by Robert Sangster, for whom he proved himself a high-class racehorse before become a stallion sensation.

It is sometimes forgotten that Sadler’s Wells won the 1984 Irish 2000 Guineas, before going on to land the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park the same season as well as landing the Phoenix Champion Stakes. The son of Northern Dancer was retired to stud at the end of his three-year-old career with few imagining that he would become the most dominant influence on the thoroughbred breed for the next two decades.

In all Sadler’s Wells sired the winner of 23 British Classics, including Epsom Derby winners and subsequent top class stallions Galileo and High Chaparral. Other great sons of the Coolmore legend include Old Vic, Montjeu, In The Wings, Yeats and Entrepreneur, whilst top notch fillies included the great Salsabil and Islington. In all the sons and daughters of Sadler’s Wells won 106 European Group 1 races and many more across the globe. Anyone who follows the online horse racing betting has probably backed one of his progeny at some point in the past.

Although there is sadness at his passing, the influence of Sadler’s Wells will live on for generations to come through his stallion sons Montjeu, Galileo, High Chaparral and others, while grandsons such as Rip van Winkle and the current three-year-old sensation Frankel will ensure that the Coolmore sire will be remembered for many years to come.