04/21/2017 12:36PM

Godolphin sire Cape Cross euthanized at 23

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Cape Cross, a Group 1 winner and prominent sire for Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s Godolphin operation, has been euthanized due to the infirmities of old age. He was 23.

The son of Green Desert was a Godolphin homebred from Sheikh Mohammed’s Irish base, out of the English and Irish champion Park Appeal. He was put into training with John Gosden, and broke his maiden as a juvenile in England in his second start.

Cape Cross spent his sophomore campaign in England, finishing third in the Group 3 Craven Stakes, then was moved to the barn of Saeed bin Suroor for his 4-year-old campaign and beyond. At 4 he won the English Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, and finished third in the French Group 1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard-Jacques le Marois. At 5, Cape Cross won the English Group 2 Queen Anne Stakes and Celebration Mile.

Cape Cross retired with 5 wins in 19 starts for earnings of $430,308.

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The horse moved on to become a flagship stallion for Godolphin, entering stud at Kildangan Stud in Ireland. He began shuttling to the Southern Hemisphere in 2000, first to Cambridge Stud in New Zealand, then to Kelvinside Stud in Australia.

"He has been an integral part of the Godolphin and Darley stories, and an integral part of Kildangan," said Joe Osborne, managing director of Godolphin Ireland. "He was our first major success as a stallion. He was champion first-season sire, making an immediate impact, and went on to sire a collection of outstanding racehorses who left their mark in some of the world's great races.

"As an individual, he was the boss. You did it his way. He very much ruled the roost."

Cape Cross has sired 15 crops of racing age, with 1,061 winners and combined progeny earnings in excess of $103.9 million.

His most visible runner was Sea the Stars, Europe’s Horse of the Year in 2009, who was a six-time Group 1 winner in England, Ireland, and France before retiring to become one of Europe’s most sought-after stallions.

Cape Cross is also the sire of two-time European Horse of the Year Ouija Board, who was also named North America’s champion turf female in 2004 and 2006 after winning each year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Other notable runners by Cape Cross include two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Seachange, Turkish champion Kalimdor, Hong Kong champion Able One, Saudi Arabian champion Caprivi, and Group 1 winners Golden Horn, Nayarra, Bekhabad, and I’m Your Man.

Cape Cross was pensioned from stallion duty in 2016.