07/25/2001 12:00AM

Fahd Salman dead at 46


Prince Fahd Salman, one of the world's leading owners and breeders, died suddenly of a heart attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday night. He was 46.

The nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, Prince Fahd was part of the Saudi ruling family that has made an indelible mark on the Thoroughbred world. He was the older brother of The Thoroughbred Corporation owner Ahmed Salman, and the son-in-law of Khalid Abdullah, the owner of Juddmonte Farms.

Prince Fahd owned champions in both England and the United States. His notable horses included 1991 European champion Generous, and Fiji, whom Neil Drysdale trained to the 1998 Eclipse Award as best filly or mare on turf.

"He was a very generous man who loved every aspect of racing," said Drysdale.

Drysdale had been the recipient of many of the Prince's European imports to the United States. In addition to Fiji, he also trained Salman stakes winners Dance Parade, Gold Land, Midnight Line, and Time Star.

Salman's most recent winner in North America came on May 26 when Roger Attfield trained Red Sea to victory in the Grade 3 Connaught Stakes at Woodbine on May 26.

Many of the horses who ran in Salman's distinctive dark green silks were bred at the Prince's Newgate Stud Company, which has its headquarters in Newmarket, England. Newgate also has a farm in Lexington, Ky.

Fahd Salman made his biggest mark with Generous, a son of Caerleon who was rated one of the best postwar horses in Europe after having won the Epsom Derby by seven lengths, the Irish Derby by three, and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes by seven, the largest margin in the history of the race.

Like many of Prince Fahd's horses based in England, Generous was trained by Paul Cole in Whatcombe, Oxfordshire.

"News of his death comes as a shock. He was an absolutely dedicated horseman and loved everything about the sport," said Cole, who trained for Salman for more than 20 years. "He was a really wonderful man, very giving of his time. I shall miss him very much."

Salman first came to the notice of American racegoers in 1992 when Cole shipped Zoman to Laurel to win the 1992 Washington D.C. International. Other big winners trained for the Prince by Cole included Bint Pasha, Knight's Baroness, and Riyadian. More recently, Salman had 1999 European 3-year-old filly champion Ramruma with Henry Cecil.

Prince Fahd Salman was Saudi Arabia's home secretary. An official mourning period began on Wednesday afternoon with the recitation of funeral prayers at the Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh.