|Breeder||Sir Robin McAlpine|
|Trainer||Geoff Wragg (UK)
David A. Hayes (AUS)
|September Stakes (1992)
Hardwicke Stakes (1993)
Underwood Stakes (1994)
Melbourne Cup (1994)
AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1995)
C F Orr Stakes (1995)
Craiglee Stakes (1995)
|Last updated on 23 June 2007|
Jeune (1989–2006) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse who raced in England and Australia and is best known for winning the prestigious Melbourne Cup in 1994. He was an attractive, muscular, chestnut stallion, who sometimes raced in pacifiers. He had an aversion towards wet ground, and was most effective on ground which was at least dead.
Reasonably well-bred, and bred for stamina, Jeune was by Kalaglow out of Youthful, by Green Dancer. He began his racing career in Europe, eventually becoming a Group Two winner over a mile and a half, as well as running several good placings in English middle distance races of the second rank. His owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum sent him to Australia at the end of his 4-year-old season, where he would be trained by David Hayes.
Although expectations for him were only moderate on his arrival, Jeune improved greatly in Australia. He first established himself as a top class performer with his victory in the group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800 metres) at Caulfield in the early part of the Spring. Later that same preparation, he was runner-up in both the Caulfield Stakes and the Mackinnon Stakes. In between time, he ran unplaced in the Cox Plate when hindered in the running. Jeune therefore entered the 1994 Melbourne Cup with solid, middle distance weight-for-age form. Nevertheless, he started at the attractive odds of 16/1 due to doubts about whether he would run the distance. He proved these doubts ill-founded, winning the race comfortably by 2 lengths, and finishing it off the best of all the runners. The favoured Caulfield Cup winner Paris Lane, who had narrowly beaten him home in the Mackinnon three days earlier, was second.
Jeune opened his autumn campaign by winning the much shorter group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400 metres) against the sprinters. He also won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000 metres) to finish that campaign. However, in between time, Jeune developed the unfortunate tendency of running second in major races. One of these efforts was very good (his close second to champion sprinter Schillaci in the Futurity Stakes over 1400 metres) but others constituted unnecessary losses to inferior opponents. They were the result of his inability to properly finish off his race by overhauling horses he had caught up to in the straight (such as when he lost the Australian Cup at Flemington to the moderate Western Australian mare Starstruck, and the Rawson Stakes and The BMW at Rosehill to the honest front-runner Stony Bay).
Jeune raced on as a 6-year-old, and despite an excellent early season victory over Mahogany in the Craiglee Stakes (1600 metres) at Flemington, he therefater inexplicably lost form. He failed in several major races. In the end, Jeune's overall racing record in Australia and England stood at 10 wins and 17 placing from a total of 42 starts, and nearly A$3million in prizemoney.
It is fair to say that Jeune probably would have been better off retired to stud at the end of his 5-year-old season, when his race record was still relatively unblemished, and when he would have attracted better quality mares. Nevertheless, the start of his stud career was delayed until 1996 when Jeune commenced standing at Hayes' Lindsay Park property in South Australia before then transferring to Collingrove Stud in Victoria in 2004. The move to Victoria was precipitated by his success at stud, which caused him to "outgrow" the South Australian operation.
Chief among Jeune's successful offspring was the gutsy and ill-fated 2003 Caulfield Cup winner Mummify. He also sired On A Jeune, who ran second in the Melbourne Cup. Despite his very good race record, attractive appearance, and ability to sire good progeny, Jeune was not the most commercial of stallions in Australia. The quality of mares he attracted in South Australia was only moderate, and did not match those enjoyed by the more fashionable overseas shuttle stallions and speed-oriented locals, with whom he was competing. Nevertheless, he did achieve more at stud than many of these rivals, and over 5% of his runners won stakes races.
On the morning of 4 January 2006, Jeune was found dead in his paddock at Collingrove Stud from an apparent heart failure.