Nureyev, one of the most inflential racing stallions in recent years, has died at the age of 24

Nureyev, one of the most influential sires of the past 20 years, died this week at the age of 24 in his stall at Walmac International in Kentucky.

The stallion, who sired a long list of high-class horses, was most notably responsible for the brilliant Arc hero Peintre Celebre, top international miler Spinning World and the dual Breeders’ Cup Mile champion Miesque, who also won both the English and French 1,000 Guineas.

Nureyev, by Northern Dancer out of the Forli mare Special, passed the post first in the 1980 2,000 Guineas, but was controversially disqualified and placed last after causing interference.

His death was the result of complications which set in following an operation to remove a tumour from the wall of his off-fore hoof.

John T L Jones, owner of Walmac International where Nureyev spent his entire stud career, told the American racing publication Thoroughbred Times: “It was cancer in his foot. We tried to take it out a month ago and it just didn’t work. We didn’t put him down – he just lay down in his stall.”