01/04/2013 12:30PM

Selkirk, European champion miler and prominent sire, dead at 25

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Selkirk, twice rated Timeform’s champion miler in Europe and one of the leading English-based sires of the past two decades, died yesterday at Lanwades Stud in Newmarket, England. The Sharpen Up horse died of the effects of old age at 25.

A George Strawbridge homebred, Selkirk was trained by Ian Balding and won six times—all stakes—in 15 starts and earned $843,661. He won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 1991, the Lockinge Stakes (then a Group 2) in 1992, and was the Timeform champion miler in Europe for both years with a rating of 129.

“He was the most wonderful horse to have around,” Balding told Racing Post. “He had a beautiful temperament. He was a real good horse; we had three seasons of him [racing] and it was a pleasure.”

Selkirk spent his entire stud career at Kristin Rausing’s Lanwades Stud. He suffered a decline in fertility in 2010 and 2011 but still covered a small book of mares. His final foals are yearlings in 2013.

“I feel immensely privileged to have had Selkirk standing at Lanwades,” Rausing said in a release. “He was a wonderfully kind and co-operative character. We will greatly miss him, but his memory will live on, not only here at the stud, but throughout the Thoroughbred industry in this country and abroad.”

From 18 crops of racing age totaling 1,051 foals, Selkirk has sired 495 winners and 92 stakes winners (9 percent). He sired 15 Grade/Group 1 winners, including 2012 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes winner Nahrain and Dubai Duty Free winner Cityscape. His progeny have earned more than $54.9 million, and as a broodmare sire Selkirk is responsible for Group 1 winners Mount Nelson, Simply Perfect, Quiff, and Termagant.

Pennsylvania-bred Selkirk was produced by Grade 2 winner Annie Edge, by Nebbiolo, and was a half-brother to five stakes winners, including Group 3 winner and producer Seebe and stakes winners and sires Rimrod and Syncline.