05/11/2008 11:00PM

Sadler's Wells retired from stud

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sadler's Wells, the flagship stallion for Coolmore Stud for two decades and a highly influential sire in Europe and Britain, has been retired from stud duty because of declining fertility, the global breeding operation announced Monday.

Sadler's Wells, a 27-year-old son of Northern Dancer, stood at Coolmore since retiring from the racecourse in 1985. He has been leading sire in Britain and Ireland 14 times, more than any other stallion, and also led the standings in France four times. He also was leading broodmare sire in England in 2006 and 2007; in Ireland from 2005 through 2007; and in France in 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2007. He was among the broodmare sire leaders in North America from 2005 to 2007.

"I think Sadler's Wells is generally acknowledged as the best sire Europe has ever seen, and we feel very privileged to have been associated with him," said Coolmore manager Christy Grassick. "Despite his advancing years, he is still in remarkably good condition, and I hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement. His influence will be felt for many years to come, and in Galileo, Montjeu, and High Chaparral we are delighted to have his three best sons at Coolmore."

Sadler's Wells had stood for a private fee in 2008.

The late Robert Sangster's Swettenham Stud and partners bred the bay son of Fairy Bridge, by Bold Reason, in Kentucky. Trained by the legendary Vincent O'Brien and carrying Sangster's colors, Sadler's Wells won the Beresford Stakes, a Group 2 race, at 2. The following season, he took the Irish 2000 Guineas, Phoenix Champion Stakes, and England's Coral Eclipse Stakes, all Group 1, and was named France's champion miler. He also finished second in the 1984 Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby), the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and the Gladness Stakes.

From a two-year racing career, Sadler's Wells won 6 of his 11 starts and earned $713,690.

Sadler's Wells's best runners include High Chaparral, an Epsom Derby winner and two-time Breeders' Cup Turf winner who earned North American championship titles as turf male in 2002 and 2003; multiple champion Montjeu; 2001 Epsom and Irish derby winner Galileo; and the extraordinary filly Salsabil, who won the 1000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks, and Irish Derby in 1990. In addition to High Chaparral, he also sired Breeders' Cup winners Northern Spur, In the Wings, Barathea, and Islington.

He also sired 2002 Arlington Million winner Beat Hollow.

In total, Sadler's Wells sired more than 200 stakes winners in his long stud career. He will remain at Coolmore in his retirement, according to an announcement posted Monday on the breeding operation's website.