03/29/2012 8:59AM

Montjeu, multiple Group 1 winner and top Coolmore sire, dies at 16

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Montjeu, one of Coolmore Stud’s best sires and the highest-rated runner by their great Sadler’s Wells, died Thursday “after a short illness which was due to complications from an overwhelming septicemia” – an infection known as blood poisoning – the Irish-based farm announced. Montjeu was 16.

last year, Montjeu sired 15 group or graded winners in the Northern Hemisphere, including Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi. That was his third Epsom Derby winner, following Motivator in 2005 and Authorized in 2007. He also sired runners-up Walk in the Park (2005) and Fame and Glory (2009).

His current crop of 3-year-olds features the early favorites for both the Epsom Derby and Oaks, Camelot and Wading.

Montjeu also is the sire of international champions Hurricane Run, St Nicholas Abbey, Nom du Jeu, Wall Street, and Scorpion. He also sired Canadian champion Miss Keller and such Canadian Grade 1 winners as Joshua Tree and Sarah Lynx.

at his death, Montjeu’s progeny earnings stood at more than $84 million from nine racing-age crops.

As a racehorse, Montjeu was highweighted on free handicaps five times in England, Ireland, and France at distance ranges from 9 1/2 to 14 furlongs. He won six Group 1 races during his 3- and 4-year-old seasons. At 3, he took the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Irish Derby, and Prix du Jockey Club. He returned at 4 to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, and Tattersalls Gold Cup in 2000.

Sir James Goldsmith bred Montjeu in Ireland from the Top Ville mare Floripedes, a French champion who was second in the French St. Leger of 1988. Goldsmith named the Sadler’s Wells colt after Goldsmith’s Burgundy chateau. When he died in 1997, Goldsmith left Montjeu to Laure Boulay de la Meurthe. She sold a half-interest in Montjeu to Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier, wife of Coolmore’s owner, after the colt won his two starts at 2.