Sadler's Wells (horse)
|Foaled||11 April 1981|
|Beresford Stakes (1983)
Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (1984)
Irish 2,000 Guineas (1984)
Eclipse Stakes (1984)
Irish Champion Stakes (1984)
|Champion Miler in France (1984)
Leading sire in North America (1995)
Leading sire in Britain & Ireland
Leading sire in France
(1993, 1994, 1999)
Leading broodmare sire in Britain & Ireland (2005-2011)
Sadler's Wells (11 April 1981–26 April 2011) was a Thoroughbred racehorse who was later a leading sire in France, Great Britain & Ireland and North America during the 1990s. He was the most dominant sire in the world during the past quarter century, and the greatest sire ever in Europe, though he achieved amazing success worldwide, including in the United States, Canada, Asia, Dubai and Australia. Only Danehill has sired more stakes winners than Sadler's Wells. He was foaled in 1981 in the United States, but achieved most of his racing and breeding fame in Europe.
Sadler's Wells was a bay horse with a broad white blaze and white socks on his hind legs. He was by Northern Dancer, the most successful sire of his era, out of Fairy Bridge by Bold Reason. Fairy Bridge, a sister of the disqualified 2000 Guineas winner Nureyev, was a highly successful broodmare, producing the National Stakes winner Tate Gallery and the successful breeding stallion Fairy King.
1983: two-year-old season
Sadler's Wells made his first appearance in September at Leopardstown Racecourse when he ran in a seven furlong maiden race. The colt was ridden by Pat Eddery and started the 1/2 favourite in a field of sixteen runners. He was always among the leaders and drew away from his opponents in the straight to win by six lengths from Cyrano. Three weeks later he was moved up in class for the Group Three Beresford Stakes at the Curragh. Racing over one mile on soft ground led from the start and won by six lengths from Cerussite. In the International Classification, he was given a rating of 78, ten pounds behind the top-rated El Gran Senor, who was also owned by Sangster and trained by O'Brien.
1984: three-year-old season
On his first race as a three-year-old, Sadler's Wells met El Gran Senor on the racecourse for the first and only time, when he finished second to his stable companion in the seven furlong Gladness Stakes at the Curragh. Sadler's Wells won the ten furlong Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial and was then brought back in distance for the Irish 2,000 Guineas over one mile. In a closely contested finish, he won from the French-trained Procida and the favourite Secreto. The O'Brien trained Capture Him, whom Eddery had chosen to ride in preference to Sadlers Wells, finished fourth.
The one mile St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot was named as the colt's next target, but instead he was moved up in distance for the Prix du Jockey Club, a race which O'Brien had won the previous year with Caerleon. Sadler's Wells took the lead in the straight but was overtaken in the closing stages and beaten one and a half lengths by Darshaan, with Rainbow Quest in third. In July, Sadler's Wells was the only three-year-old in a field of nine runners for the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park. The Irish colt took the lead in the straight and held off the challenge of the mare Time Charter to win by a neck. The race was a rough and unsatisfactory one, but the winner was praised for his "battling" and "determined" performance against more experienced rivals. Later that month, Sadler's Wells ran second to Teenoso in a strong field for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, finishing ahead of Tolomeo, Time Charter, Sun Princess and Darshaan.
Sadler's Wells failed to reproduce his best form when fourth in the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup at York, but returned to the track two weeks later for the inaugural running of the Phoenix Champion Stakes, the most valuable race ever run in Ireland. The colt took the lead from the Irish Oaks winner Princess Pati two furlongs from the finish and held the late challenge of Seattle Song to win by three quarters of a length. His success took his winning prize money for the season to £384,114. At the time, this was the fourth highest single season total for any horse trained in Britain or Ireland, behind Troy (£408,424 in 1979), Tolomeo (£400,000 in 1983) and Shergar (£386,410 in 1981). On his last appearance, Sadler's Wells was sent to Longchamp in October for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, but ran disappointingly: after being among the leaders on the turn into the straight, he faded to finish eighth behind Sagace.
Sadler's Wells was given a rating of 90 by the International Classification, making him the sixth best horse of the year in Europe behind El Gran Senor (98), Teenoso (95), Sagace (93), Chief Singer (92) and Darshaan (91).
Sadler's Wells greatest achievement came as a champion sire and much of the Coolmore breeding empire is founded on his success. Sadler's Wells has been Champion Sire in Great Britain & Ireland 14 times, as well as Champion Sire in France three times and North America once. He has produced over 323 stakes winners and 80 individual Group 1/Grade I winners.
Sire of sires
Several of Sadler's Wells sons have become successful breeding stallions in their own right. El Prado became Leading sire in North America in 2002, largely thanks to the exploits of Medaglia d'Oro. In Europe, his sons Galileo and Montjeu have won sires championships in Britain and France, respectively.
On 13 May 2008 Coolmore announced that Sadler's Wells was retiring from breeding due to declining fertility.
|Bold Reason||Hail to Reason||Turn-To|
|Rough Shod (Family 5h)|
- "Sadlers Wells Bloodlines". Betting Market. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- Australian Stud Book: Fairy Bridge (USA) 1975 Retrieved 18 November 2010
- "Ann of the Forest - Family 5-h". Thoroughbred Bloodlines. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- Timeform (1985). Racehorses of 1984. Timeform. ISBN 0-900-59940-5.
- Timeform (1984). Racehorses of 1983. Timeform. ISBN 0-900-59940-5.
- "Stallion Sadler’s Wells". Coolmore. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
- "Sadler's Wells". Racing Post. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Leading Sires of America". TB Heritage. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Leading Sires of Great Britain and Ireland". TB Heritage. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Leading Sires of France". TB Heritage. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Champ sire Sadler’s Wells retires". BBC Sport. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2008.
- "Super sire Sadler's Wells dies at Coolmore Stud". The Guardian. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Sadler’s Wells passes away at 30". Irish Times. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Thoroughbred Pedigrees". Equineline. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2013.