09/09/2015 1:35PM

Pensioned sire Green Desert dies at 32


Green Desert, one of Europe’s top sires, has been euthanized due to the infirmities of old age at Shadwell’s Nunnery Stud in Norfolk, England. He was 32.

The son of Danzig had resided at Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s operation since 1990 after beginning his stud career at Melton Paddocks, another Shadwell property. He was pensioned in 2011.

Green Desert sired 24 crops, with 768 winners and progeny earnings of more than $66.8 million. His progeny includes 46 graded or group stakes winners.

"Although small in stature, Green Desert had a big personality and was hugely loved and revered by everyone at Shadwell," said Richard Lancaster, director of Nunnery Stud. “Although not owned by Shadwell, we have always thought of him as our flagship stallion, and we are very proud to be a part of his legacy."

Among Green Desert’s best runners are five-time Hong Kong champion Desert Boy; European champion 2-year-old filly Bint Allayl; European champion sprinters Sheikh Albadou, Oasis Dream, and Tamarisk; and European champion hurdler Collier Bay. His Grade/Group 1 winners include Desert Prince, Desert Lord, Cape Cross, Owington, Invincible Spirit, Shinko Forest, and Heat Haze.

Debuting at stud for an advertised fee of about $38,400 (25,000 British pounds), his rate reached its peak at about $130,559 (85,000 pounds) in 2004 and 2005.

Sons of Green Desert at stud include Cape Cross, Desert Prince, Invincible Spirit, and Oasis Dream.

Bred in Kentucky by Eaton Farms and Red Bull Stable, Green Desert won five of 14 starts for $308,015. He was campaigned by Sheikh Maktoum Al Maktoum and trained by Michael Stoute.

A $650,000 purchase by Darley Stud Management out of the 1984 Keeneland September yearling sale, Green Desert earned victories in the English Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes and Group 3 July Stakes as a juvenile. He followed up at 3 with runner-up efforts in the English 2000 Guineas and St. James’s Place Stakes before breaking through again in the Group 1 July Cup. He later added a win in the Group 2 Vernons Sprint Cup before shipping to France and later finishing his career with a start in the 1986 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

"It goes without saying that this is a very sad time for everyone connected with Green Desert, and we hope that people will remember him as an excellent racehorse, a ground-breaking sire, and a lasting influence on modern Thoroughbred racing and breeding," Lancaster said.