02/07/2018 6:00PM

European champion Aljabr dies at 22

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Aljabr, Europe’s champion 2-year-old male of 1998, died Tuesday of a heart attack at Shadwell Farm in Lexington, Ky. He was 22.

The son of Storm Cat had resided at Shadwell Farm as a pensioner since 2013, and he will be buried at the farm.

Bred in Kentucky by Shadwell, out of the French Group 1-winning Baillamong mare Sierra Madre, Aljabr raced for Sheikh Mohammed Al-Maktoum’s Godolphin operation and trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Aljabr was undefeated in three starts as a juvenile, winning on debut in England by four lengths, then taking the Group 3 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood. He finished the season with a half-length score in the French Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre to clinch Europe’s champion 2-year-old colt honors.

He returned to England to begin his 3-year-old season, starting with a second in the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes, followed by a win in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes, before traveling again for a fourth-place effort in the French Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. At four, Aljabr won the English Group 1 Lockinge Stakes.

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“Aljabr will be remembered for his championship juvenile season, but he was a Group 1 winner at three and four as well,” said Shadwell vice president Rick Nichols. “His victory in the Sussex Stakes was historic, he set a course record in top company in a 160-year-old stakes race.”  

Aljabr retired with 5 wins in 9 starts for earnings of $593,796.

Though he never raced in the U.S. Aljabr returned to Shadwell Farm to begin his stallion career. He was later relocated to Ascot Stud in Ontario, Canada to finish his active stud duty before returning to his birthplace for his final years.

Aljabr has sired 11 crops, with 91 winners and combined progeny earnings of more than $5.9 million. His runners of note include Peruvian champion Al Kadir, Canadian filly classic winner Northern Kraze, Argentine Group 1-placed Royal Jabar, Grade 2-placed Wollemi Pine and You Got Me Rocking, and English Group 2-placed Aajel

As a broodmare sire, Aljabr is led by Grade 2 winner She’s Not Here, Peruvian champion Valiant Emilia, German 1000 Guineas winner Full Rose, and Brazillian Group 1-placed Hendrix.