Top racing sire put down during colic surgery

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  • Six-time Group One winner High Chaparral has died aged 15.

    The popular stallion was put down at Fethard Equine Hospital yesterday (Sunday 21 December).

    A statement from owners Coolmore explained that the horse had been having “exploratory colic surgery due to a perforated intestine”, but that he was put down during the operation.

    The son of Sadler’s Wells won 10 from 13 races and was a Group One winner at the age of two-, three- and four-years-old.

    Trained by Aidan O’Brien, in 2002 High Chaparral completed a famous Derby double, taking the Epsom and Irish races.

    He was ridden by Johnny Murtagh at Epsom, defeating stablemate and favourite Hawk Wing, ridden by Mick Kinane. Mick then opted to ride the horse in the Irish equivalent.

    Mick Kinane told the Irish press: “It’s sad news, he was a very tough, genuine horse and was very talented.”

    High Chaparral also took the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster (2001) and Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in 2003.

    In 2002 he won the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Arlington Park in Chicago, and in 2003 he reclaimed the title at Santa Anita in California.

    After that victory — and total career winnings of almost £3.5m — he was retired to Coolmore Stud where he stood as a successful stallion.

    His most famous offspring included So You Think — who took the Cox Plate in Australia in 2009 and 2010 and the Coral-Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Prince of Wales’s Stakes in the UK.

    Another of his progeny is Toronado who won this year’s Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot.

    He also sired It’s A Dundeel, Shoot Out and Descarado. Other successful runners by High Chaparral include Wigmore Hall — who was sadly fatally injured in September — Derby contender Western Hymn, High Jinx and Free Eagle.

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